I'm going to preface my contribution to the series of "my favorite ACC moment" with a few qualifying statements. First, I am not only the oldest writer here but I hold that distinction by a margin measured in decades. Second, I am among those who have no great love for the ACC and had been thinking about this in terms of my favorite Maryland moment of the past forty years or so. Finally, as I've been considering this I've recalled a surprising number of memorable moments that are tied to losses and hence not on a favorite list. But I will make you nauseous by mentioning them:
The 1974 triple overtime 100-103 loss in the ACC Championship game to NCSU that caused the NCAA to change the rules limiting conference participation to one team so something good came out of the loss
The -74-75 women's basketball loss to UVA in 1999 that actually sold out Cole Filed House
Lamont Jordan rushing for 306 yards against UVA in the last game of the 1999 season and Ron Vanderlinden still finding a way to coach Maryland to a loss and no bowl game
Lonny Baxter leading the Terps past Stanford in 2001 to Maryland's first Final Four appearance that led to *&@^%#!!
The calendar year 2002 that kept me on the road a lot. I was in Miami on January 2nd when the Terps were crushed by Florida in the Orange Bowl Game. I was in Atlanta twice that year - for wins over Kansas and Indiana in March and April and again on New Year's Eve for a win over Tennessee in the Peach Bowl. And I was in Dallas for the 2-1 loss in the College Cup semi-final to UClA
Then there are the memories that are all so good I could have chosen any one of them:
Being a junior in high school in 1971 when Maryland led a top ten South Carolina team 4-3 at halftime before winning 31-30 in overtime on Jim O'Brien's jumper
The 1984 ACC Championship when the Terps beat NC State, Wake, and Duke and Len Bias, who had been omitted from the All-ACC team, won the Tournament MVP
And speaking of Bias, in 1986 leading the Terps to the first win in the Dean Dome by anyone other than UNC
And speaking of UNC, there's the night in January 1998 when a redshirt freshman Mike Mardesich had his Alex Len vs. Kentucky moment as he led the Terps to an overtime win against then number one ranked UNC
And how about 2004 when John Gilchrist played the best three games of his life scoring 72 point with 19 assists and only 5 turnovers as the Terps beat Wake, NCSU (coming from 19 down at halftime), and Duke in OT to win the title and leave that little boy in the Dook jersey crying
Of, of course, the weekend of April 2-4, 2006 in Boston when the Terrapin women brought home a national championship trophy to bookend the men's 2002 title
But I started at Testudo Times as FHFAN so I have to go with a field hockey game and in that, I'm going to give a very, very slight edge to the 3-2 double overtime win over UNC for the 2010 National Championship over the 3-2 overtime win over UNC for the 2011 National Championship though there's a lot to be said for the latter game.
There were a number of factors that made that 2010 game so special for me. First, the atmosphere at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex was simply put, intense. The crowd was nearly 2,400 which is the largest crowd to ever see an NCAA field hockey game. People were standing behind the fences at both ends of the stadium and there were scores of folks who rarely, if ever attended field hockey.
Second, the Terps and UNC had played for the National Championship in 2009 in Cary, NC and UNC won 3-2 scoring the winning goal with 11.9 seconds remaining after a phantom foul set up a penalty corner. So the 2010 win was a bit of sweet payback.
Third, seeing Megan Frazer bang in the winning goal through her exhaustion after a great steal by Katie O'Donnell playing through her exhaustion and coming just two and a half minutes before the game would have gone to a penalty shootout was explosively relieving and cathartic. And this was particularly true after an official held her whistle on what looked to be a fairly obvious foul on UNC's goalie just seconds earlier.
Finally, the win was a fitting end to Katie O'Donnell's career at Maryland. O'Donnell is likely the greatest player in the history of a storied program. She is one of only three players in NCAA history to amass 300 points in her career and the only one to do so with 100 assists as part of the total. She won back to back Honda Awards in 2009-10 and 2010-11 as the nation's top field hockey player. In that 2010-11 year she was named the top female athlete among the Honda Award winners for all sports. For those of us who spent four years watching player we all affectionately called Odie, who had provided so many highlight moments, and for Odie herself, no moment could have been more perfect.