With a one-goal lead and looking for insurance with just under five minutes left in the third quarter against the No. 13 Virginia Cavaliers, No. 5 Maryland field hockey’s midfielder Emma DeBerdine had the magic touch to extend the Terps’ advantage.
Senior defender Riley Donnelly rifled the ball into a dangerous area right in front of Virginia’s net off a penalty corner and then in the crowd of sticks it was deflected into mid-air. Emma DeBerdine made a fantastic effort to make contact and she swung away, perfectly slapping the ball with precision as it flew into the back of the net to give Maryland a 2-0 lead.
Emma DeBerdine’s goal gave Maryland the extra tally it needed to secure the win in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Terps moved past the Cavaliers on Friday afternoon, capturing a 2-1 win at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex in College Park to move onto the next round. Maryland will take on Syracuse this Sunday at 1 p.m. to see if it can keep its postseason hopes alive.
The energy was electric from the start, as Virginia looked to establish its game with pace on the first few possessions against Maryland’s defense. Maryland’s defense was on point from the beginning, though, and Virginia couldn’t break through early on. Maryland benefitted from great rotations by graduate midfielder Brooke DeBerdine on the defensive end.
Virginia kept pressing in the first quarter as it earned the first penalty corner of the game. The Terps’ defense converged towards the cage to guard it in front of Maryland star’s goalie, Noelle Frost. Graduate captain Brooke DeBerdine then set the tone with a swift defensive rotation that led to a deflection to hold the Cavaliers out of the net to keep the game scoreless.
Frost continued to cement her status as one of the best goalies in the country and she built on her stellar season in the opening quarter, managing a single save to keep Virginia off the board. Frost had to be solid in the first 15 minutes as the Cavaliers looked like the better side, despite it finishing in a 0-0 tie.
Virginia had five shots in the first quarter compared to Maryland that generated just two shot attempts. The Cavaliers also produced three penalty corners in the opening quarter.
Even though the Terps struggled to generate offense in the first quarter, they broke through in the first few moments of the next frame. Maryland ended the tie with just over 13 minutes left in the second quarter.
DeBerdine delivered a straight line pass to senior midfielder Bibi Donraadt who received the pass and shot directly at Virginia’s cage soon after corralling the ball. Senior forward Mayv Clune, who found herself with some room in front of the net, deflected Donraadt’s shot into the right side of the cage to give Maryland the 1-0 lead.
The Terps’ offense turned the intensity up a notch after a lackluster first quarter as they registered three shots and two penalty corners in the second. Although Maryland was unable to cash in on its penalty corners, it was able to consistently find holes in the Virginia defense for its potent offense to take over.
Maryland went on to hold a one-goal lead after the first 30 minutes of play, despite Virginia leading in the shot department by a margin of 8-5. Frost stood tall for Maryland in the first half, totaling four saves to keep Virginia from finding an equalizer.
The third quarter was ignited by intensity and hustle, as both teams looked determined to establish their offense.
With under five minutes left in the third quarter, junior Emma DeBerdine had her game-changing moment and connected on a shot in mid-air that swished into the left side of the cage to extend Maryland’s lead to 2-0.
Maryland held a two-goal advantage heading into the final 10 minutes.
The Terps were able to neutralize the Cavaliers all the way until the final four minutes of the game, but a final push from Virginia saw them get closer to an equalizer.
Virginia made things interesting with under three minutes in the final frame. Adele Iacobucci deflected a shot in front of Frost off a penalty corner, which eventually made its way into the net to cut Maryland’s lead to just one.
However, despite conceding its first goal of the match late, Maryland didn’t give up another one en route to the win. Maryland used extensive defensive pressure and offensive aggressiveness to cruise to an opening victory of the NCAA Tournament.
Three things to know
- The Terps’ defense continues to dominate. Maryland is a different team when it is locking down the cage and using its athletes to make great rotations on the defensive end. The Terps are led on defense by stalwart goalie Frost, who earned three saves in the first half to hold Virginia out of the cage. Frost finished the game with six saves in Maryland’s victory. The Cavaliers had favorable opportunities to get on the board, but Frost and the crew were shifting and denying anything coming towards the cage.
- Maryland’s offensive aggressiveness paid dividends. There are not many times when you see a team that can generate more shots than the Terps. Maryland faltered in the shots category to Virginia by a narrow margin of 12-8. However, Maryland made its shots count on, scoring two goals off the sticks of Mayv Clune and Emma DeBerdine. The Terps possess an offensive arsenal that is difficult to prepare for, as it consistently showcases the ability to make defenses pay for any opportunity they are able to get around the cage.
- Maryland survives and advances to the next round of the NCAA Tournament. The Terps will move on to the next round for a matchup with Syracuse on Sunday at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex in College Park. Syracuse pulled off a 4-1 upset victory over No. 4-Penn State on Friday.