Nov. 18, 2005
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The top-seeded Maryland field hockey team never trailed in its NCAA Tournament semifinal game, claiming a 3-2 victory over perennial power and fourth-ranked Old Dominion, 3-2, on Friday evening at Trager Stadium in Louisville, Ky. The Terps go on to play for the national title on Sunday, Nov. 20 at 12:30 p.m.
The Terps (22-2) attacked early and often, attempting 17 shots in the game, eight in the first half. But the defense was even better, limiting the Lady Monarchs (19-6) to just six shots for the game, including just one in the first period.
Maryland's first goal was the result of solid defense. Freshman defender Susie Rowe (London, England) intercepted an ODU pass in the circle and worked her way out of the defensive quarter of the field, passing off to junior Paula Infante, who was on the break. Infante carried the ball down to ODU's offensive circle and fired off a shot which went between the goalkeepers' legs for the first score of the game with 30:51 left in the half.
The score would stand at 1-0 until the second period when Old Dominion came out and almost immediately tied the score. After a penalty corner, Darcy Pinchbeck pushed in a shot passed the goal line on the scramble to even things up, 1-1, at 36:25.
The Terps responded, however, on a perfectly executed penalty corner. Infante faked the shot and passed off to sophomore Janneke van Leeuwen (Hilversum, Netherlands) on the baseline, and she knocked it into the open net, giving Maryland the 2-1 lead.
Looking for the insurance goal, van Leeuwen had her second shot of the game saved, but the rebound went towards the middle of the circle and senior Jackie Ciconte (Wilmington, Del.) grabbed it and scored, putting the Terps ahead, 3-1.
ODU was persistent and would not go away. Janelle Engle brought the Monarchs to within 3-2 when she scored off her own rebounded shot with almost six minutes remaining in the game. But the Terps hung on to the ball, keeping it away from Old Dominion in the final minutes, to claim the win.
It was the third meeting between the teams this season, with each team winning on the other's field.
Maryland outshot ODU, 17-6, and had eight penalty corners while the Lady Monarchs had six. ODU goalkeeper Mary Cate Gordon registered seven saves.
18th-year head coach Missy Meharg and her Terrapins advance to the finals for the sixth time in school history. They face the winner of the Duke-Wake Forest semifinal game.
The NCAA title game will be televised on CSTV at 12:30 p.m.
#4 Old Dominion (19-6) 0 2 - 2 #1 Maryland (22-2) 1 2 - 3GOALS: ODU, Darcy Pinchbeck, 36:35; Janelle Engle, 64:08. MD, Paula Infante, 4:08; Janneke van Leeuwen (Paula Infante), 43:43; Jackie Ciconte, 62:49. SHOTS: ODU 6, MD 17. PENALTY CORNERS: ODU 6, MD 8. SAVES: ODU, Mary Cate Gordon 7 (3 GA, 70:00); MD, Kathryn Masson 1 (2 GA, 70:00).