FanPost

Olympic sport Report: Terps fall & fall & fall again

People who have spent time around team sports have probably heard some variant of the adage that teams should strive to be in a position where officiating cannot have a significant impact on the outcome of a game. Tonight, Missy Meharg’s Terrapin field hockey team failed to heed that advice and lost an NCAA Tournament game for the first time in more than two seasons falling 3-2 in overtime to the Princeton Tigers. Just as Maryland had earlier tied the game on a penalty stroke, Princeton won it in the same manner.

Princeton got off to an early 1-0 lead when their leading scorer capitalized on a Maryland turnover taking a long pass to the corner before taking it to the center and winning the one on one showdown with Terrapin goalie Natalie Hunter. The Terps pushed back quickly attacking the Tigers and gaining a penalty corner just over a minute later. Ali McEvoy’s shot was wide. Maryland survived a Princeton counter attack and maintained pressure on Princeton’s defense earning another corner off a smart play by Janessa Pope in the tenth minute. Princeton’s goalie blocked Harriet Tibble’s shot but Jill Witmer was in the right place to lift in the rebound and tie the score at one all. Now it was the Tigers who turned up the pressure. The Terps were able to withstand a green card (2 minute player down) while Princeton killed off a yellow card (5 minute player down) preventing the Terps from getting any shots and keeping the ball in Maryland’s defensive half for much of the penalty time. Just after killing the penalty Maryland turned the ball over on an ill-advised pass and Princeton again had a one on one behind the Terrapin defense. This time Hunter was up to the task (possibly with some help from the post) and the score remained deadlocked. With about nine and a half minutes remaining Maryland was called for obstruction in its defensive third while at the same time a Princeton player received a green card. (I’m not sure how that happened or exactly what the call was,) Princeton got off a quick restart and managed a quick shot that Hunter was able to save but the Terps defense was unable to clear the ball and the Tigers scored on the rebound. Both teams would have one more scoring chance but Princeton took a 2-1 lead into the locker room.

The first twenty minutes or so of the second half was played principally in the midfield though each team did manage a penalty corner with Princeton’s goalie making a save on Megan Frazer’s shot and the Terp defense blocking Princeton’s. As the game moved into its later stages, Maryland began to press forward and earned its fourth penalty corner of the game. Princeton’s goalie was again able to block Frazer’s initial shot but the rebound hit a Tigers field player in the chest creating the opportunity for the penalty stroke. Ali McEvoy calmly flicked her shot into the upper right corner knotting the score at two. The Terps would survive two Princeton penalty corners with no time remaining to send the game into overtime.

Despite Maryland starting with the ball, Princeton was the clear aggressor in the overtime and just over 5 minutes in was again able to find a gap in the Terrapin defense. Goalie Natalie Hunter came off her line out of the cage and in a close call was whistled for interference setting up the Princeton stroke. The lifted shot flew just past Hunter’s attempted save ending Maryland’s quest for a third straight national championship.

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The rough night for the Terps continued on the west coast as the women’s soccer team also lost a 3-2 overtime decision to the Denver Pioneers in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. I had no one at the game to report the event to me but the quick summary is that Maryland took a 1-0 lead in the 5th minute when Haley Brock scored on a rebound off a Becky Kaplan shot. The Terps went into halftime holding that 1-0 lead and with an 8-5 advantage in shots forcing the Denver goalie into 4 saves.

The Terps extended the lead to 2-0 on a goal by Becky Kaplan off a shot from just inside the 18 yard box. Aubrey Baker had an assist. Denver scored its first goal with just over 22 minutes remaining. They tied the score on a penalty kick with just 40 seconds remaining when Maryland was called for a foul in the box. (And the maxim strikes again.) Maryland goalkeeper Rachelle Beanlands was able to get a piece of the ball but not enough to prevent it from going in and the game would go to overtime.

In the overtime, Denver’s goal scorer would complete a hat trick scoring 3:19 in to seal the Terps fate. For those who want more of the gory details, I’ll refer you to the article on umterps.com which you can find here:

http://www.umterps.com/sports/w-soccer/recaps/111612aaa.html

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Finally, in keeping with the Terps go down to defeat theme tonight, the Maryland volleyball team lost in straight sets to 11th ranked Florida State ending the Terps four match winning streak. A quick peak at the scores (25-21; 25-15; 25-19) makes it look like the Seminoles had control of the match throughout. Because it’s late and the 5 Hour Energy Drink I swigged on the drive home is wearing off, because it took me a ridiculous amount of time to drive back from Norfolk, and because I’m tired of writing about losses (and I’ll guess the folks who read this are tired of reading about them), I’ll forego my usual detailed wrap-up and simply report that the Terrapins were led in kills by Mary Cushman (12), assists by Mackenzie Dagostino (17), and digs by Amy Dion (13). The Terps will face another ranked team when they travel to south Florida to take on the 24th ranked Miami Hurricanes on Sunday.

At least men’s basketball took care of LIU. See you at Byrd tomorrow.

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