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No. 3 Maryland field hockey falls to No. 7 Princeton in double overtime, 4-3, for first loss of the season

The Terps fell to 7-1 on the season.

Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics.

In an early game of the year candidate on Tuesday afternoon in Princeton, New Jersey, one overtime was not enough to generate an outcome between two top-10 field hockey programs.

No. 7 Princeton took advantage of a penalty corner in the second overtime with midfielder Beth Yeager delivering a low shot that clanked into the cage to lift the Tigers ahead of No. 3 Maryland, 4-3, and hand the Terps their first loss of the season.

Maryland stands at 7-1 heading into a stretch of five consecutive Big Ten games, beginning this Friday against No. 8 Michigan.

The showdown started with both teams racing out in transition to get into the circle for scoring opportunities, but their efforts didn’t yield any goals.

Maryland’s first-quarter 4-0 shot advantage generated favorable looks at the cage, but it struggled to find initial success putting the ball in the back of the cage.

With fewer than six minutes until halftime, though, the Terps put an end to their scoring woes. On Maryland’s third penalty corner of the first half, graduate midfielder Danielle Van Rootselaar passed up a shot and then dished the ball to sophomore forward Hope Rose. Rose winded up and sent a rocket toward the cage, which was redirected in by senior midfielder Belle Bressler to give the Terps a 1-0 advantage.

Heading into the intermission, Maryland dominated Princeton in every statistical category, despite holding just a one-goal lead.

Princeton came out of the second half looking to score the equalizer, and it would accomplish that feat just minutes into the third quarter.

Fewer than two minutes into the third quarter, Princeton capitalized on its first penalty corner of the game. Princeton defender Hannah Davey dribbled the ball hard to her right before firing a swift shot that narrowly missed the outstretched hands of Maryland goalkeeper Paige Kieft, evening the game at one apiece.

The Terps, however, found a rhythm on offense, and their response to Davey’s goal proved that.

Almost three minutes after Davey’s goal, Maryland jolted in the open field to unleash their offensive attack. Bressler received a pass along the left side and delivered a fast pass to senior forward Margot Lawn, who was standing in front of the cage. Lawn caught the ball in stride and sent a shot into the cage to give Maryland a 2-1 lead.

With fewer than two minutes remaining until the final quarter, Princeton’s extra effort produced a scoring opportunity. Princeton forward Claire Donovan used nifty dribbling before firing a shot. The ball ricocheted off two Maryland sticks before Princeton senior forward Ali McCarthy used her quick instincts to send a quick shot past Kieft. Princeton secured the equalizer to tie the game at two.

Late into the fourth quarter, the game was even at two, and both teams are looking to shift momentum with a go-ahead goal.

Rose caught an errand pass before sending a low shot into the bottom left side of the cage. Rose’s goal gave the Terps a 3-2 advantage late into the fourth quarter.

Like it had done all game, Princeton responded with a goal of its own. Forward Sammy Popper delivered a pass to Yeager on her left. Yeager sent a sudden shot that swished into the middle of the cage for the late fourth-quarter goal. Yeager’s goal evened the game at three.

It was a hard-fought first overtime for both teams, surely proving that a loss for either squad would be a heartbreaker.

Unfortunately for Maryland, Yeager’s second-overtime game-winner put the Terps on the wrong side of an incredible contest. Still, the Terps did enough in the beginning portion of their nonconference schedule to prove they are one of the best teams the country has to offer.

Maryland will get another shot at a top-10 opponent Friday when Michigan comes to College Park for a conference clash.

Three things to know

1. Maryland lost its first game of the season, but cannot dwell on it with a Big Ten matchup coming up. The Terps suffered a heartbreaking 4-3 loss in double overtime to Princeton to end their seven-game winning streak. Maryland lost its first game to Princeton in four tries, but will now shift its focus to a home matchup with the Michigan Wolverines on Friday at 6 p.m.

2. Hope Rose is making a claim as an early favorite for Big Ten Player of the Year. Rose scored a goal in the contest, giving her eight on the season. She also was credited with an assist on Bressler’s tap-in, her sixth. The star sophomore was a highly-touted recruit and she is dominating in her second season for the Terps. If Rose continues to be special, she can cement her spot as the Big Ten’s best and one of America’s elite.

3. The Terps exhibited resilience but lost a heartbreaker. Maryland fought until the end as it has all season long, but a result finally did not go its way. The Maryland vs. Princeton series has turned into quite the competitive rivalry, with each of the last five meetings going to overtime. The Terps and the Tigers went back and forth all afternoon, yet again demonstrating the persistence that Maryland embodies. The Terps should take Tuesday’s experience with them throughout the season, and the loss certainly should not hurt in the long run.