Nov. 7, 2008
DURHAM, N.C. - For much of the latter part of the season, the Maryland field hockey team has excelled in putting teams away when it had the chance. On Friday, when the Virginia Cavaliers had a chance to put away the top-seeded Terrapins in the ACC Tournament, they could not do the same. Maryland goalie Alicia Grater had four key second-half saves and senior Ellen Ott scored the game-winner less than three minutes into overtime as the Terps defeated Virginia, 3-2.
Ott's goal gave the #1 Terps (17-2) their only lead of the day.
Virginia, ranked twelfth in the nation, came into the ACC Tournament as the fourth seed and defeated host-Duke, 5-2, yesterday to earn the right to take on the Terps. The Cavaliers got on the board first when Inge Kaars Sijpestei scored off a penalty corner midway through the first half.
Maryland answered quickly, though. Gaining a penalty corner of their own just four minutes later, the Terps fed senior Susie Rowe (London, England/Colfe's School) near the top of the circle. Rowe lined a hard shot that was blocked in front of the cage, but the ACC's goals leader this season got her own rebound and put the second chance home, tying the score.
Virginia took a 2-1 lead just before halftime when Michelle Vittese scored on a penalty corner with less than a minute to go. The Terps had a penalty corner try as time expired, but could not convert.
The second half was a defensive struggle. Maryland was able to get a few chances inside the Virginia half circle, but it was the Cavaliers who displayed the most offensive pressure.
Determined not to let up a two-goal deficit, though, junior Alicia Grater (Gilbertsville, Pa./Boyertown Area), an All-ACC selection, stifled everything Virginia could throw at her. The Grater Wall turned away four open shots for the Cavaliers, including two in rapid succession on a breakaway.
More than twenty minutes into the half, Maryland had a chance inside the circle. With the defense collapsing, the Terps' Meghan Dean (Marathon, N.Y./Marathon Central) popped the ball in, making it a whole new game.
Neither team was able to get much going offensively for the final 15 minutes of the game, so with the lights only starting to take affect over a dimming field, the two teams prepared for overtime.
Unlike most of regulation, overtime was all Terps. Maryland was turned away on a good offensive chance almost immediately in the extra frame, but after regaining possession, earned a penalty corner. The play was set up for Ellen Ott (Schwenksville, Pa./Perkiomen Valley), and the senior did not miss as the handled the inbounds pass and ripped it into the cage.
"Virginia was a fast, pesky, very well coached team tonight," said head coach Missy Meharg. "Both teams tonight played very good tactical battles and it was a lot of fun to compete with them. Maryland had a lot of courage and followed direction very well tonight. We played a tremendous second half and we could have put ourselves in position to win 3-2 in regulation."
The Terps, whose only other overtime game this season was also a victory over Virginia, will play for their seventh Atlantic Coast Conference championship on Sunday, when they take on Wake Forest. Game time on Sunday at Jack Katz Stadium on the campus of Duke University is set for 1:00 p.m.
Fans can follow the action online at www.WMUCSports.com. The game will also be broadcast on tape delay. Fox Sports South and NESN will air the game on Sunday evening at 6:00 p.m. Comcast SportsNet in the Mid-Atlantic region will air the contest at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, and Sun Sports will be showing the game at noon on Tuesday.
#12 Virginia (13-8) 2 0 0 - 2 #1 Maryland (17-2) 1 1 1 - 3
GOALS: VA, Inge Kaars Sijpestei (Haley Carpenter), 18:59; Michelle Vittese (un), 34:06. MD, Susie Rowe (un), 22:04; Meghan Dean (un), 56:29; Ellen Ott (Susie Rowe), 72:54. PENALTY CORNERS: VA 6, MD 9. SAVES: VA, Amy Desjadon 5 (3 GA, 72:54); MD, Alicia Grater 5 (2 GA, 72:54). GREEN CARDS: VA, Paige Selenski (37:15), Pien Hulsebosch (46:10); MD, none. YELLOW CARDS: VA, Michelle Vittese (50:57), MD, none.