No. 3 Rutgers field hockey defeated No. 8 Maryland on Friday afternoon for the first time since 1998 with a 1-0 victory. The Terps were the last Big Ten opponent that the Scarlet Knights had not yet beaten since joining the conference. The win marked a program record ninth ranked win this season and fourth over a top ten opponent. Rutgers is now 11-2 overall and 4-1 in Big Ten play. They’ve tied a program best four conference wins since joining the league in 2014.
All-American goalkeeper Gianna Glatz was fantastic in tying a career high 12 saves. She made six stops in the first half of what was a scoreless game at the break. The Scarlet Knights had just one shot in the first half.
Just three minutes into the third quarter, Milena Redlingshoefer scored on a penalty stroke to give RU a 1-0 lead.
GOAL!— Rutgers Field Hockey (@RUFieldHockey) October 15, 2021
Milena Redlingshoefer converts on a penalty stroke and No. 3 Rutgers leads No. 8 Maryland, 1-0! pic.twitter.com/3BUfCfYLaq
It was Redlingshoefer’s fifth goal of the season, the most on the team. The defense was able to preserve the lead the rest of the way.
Maryland held a 15-6 shot advantage and a 6-0 edge with corners. It didn’t matter, as Glatz delivered her best game of the season. It was her third consecutive shutout and fourth this season. After missing the opening weekend of the season to play with Team USA in the Pan Am Junior Games, it took a bit for Glatz to round into form. It’s safe to say she has and now owns a .800 save percentage and a 0.88 goals against average in 11 games.
“Our defense was so brave, so gritty,” head coach Meredith Civico said. “They’re so willing to do anything for each other. Gianna Glatz is just incredible. She’s an amazing leader and an amazing player. The team has so much trust and confidence in her and in each other. It was so gritty and so Rutgers. That’s Rutgers field hockey – willing to do anything for one another when we’re playing. It’s incredible.”
It was an extra meaningful victory for Civico, who won a national championship with Maryland in 2005 for longtime head coach Missy Meharg. Beating her mentor and such a traditionally strong program marked another achievement for Civico at Rutgers.
“I’m really proud of the team and their overall performance.” Civico said. “Maryland is a great program with a lot of national championships and a long history of winning. We’ve been working towards this moment, this season, for years. With our captains, we talked about it before the game, it’s been a process for the past five years. Even six years, with Katie Larmour. We’ve learned so many lessons over the past couple seasons and we knew that today was our day and this year is our year. We’re going to keep climbing and exceeding our performance game-after-game. We know it’s one game at a time and that’s been our focus this entire season, just compete as hard as we can every game, every opportunity and make the most of it.”
“We had really good communication,” Glatz said. “We knew they would come out strong. Going in, we wanted to have a good mentality and we had that today. To get another win against a top-10 team, especially a Big Ten team, is awesome. It really sets us up for a good standing going towards the Big Ten Tournament. And for our first-time beating Maryland in the Big Ten, making history today, that’s awesome. It was super gritty, we were resilient, and at the end of the day we got it done.”
Rutgers will host the Big Ten Tournament from November 4-7. Their only conference loss this season was a 2-1 heartbreaker to undefeated No. 1 Iowa, who the Scarlet Knights actually outshot in the loss. This team certainly has a chance to have a special postseason, both in the Big Ten Tournament and if things continue the way they have, the NCAA Tournament as well.
“On defense, we were marking the key players in the game,” Redlingshoefer explained. “We fought for each other. In that end, that’s what made us successful. Having never beaten Maryland in a long time, and especially for Meredith Civico, that was a really important game. So, we just kept fighting for each other and in the end, that’s what made us successful.”
The Scarlet Knights earned the program’s highest national ranking ever this past week as they are No. 3 in the latest Coaches Poll. They backed it up with a huge win Friday against the No. 8 Terps. Next up, RU will host Columbia (6-5) on Sunday, October 17 at 1 p.m. ET.