LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The ninth-ranked Maryland field hockey team (16-7) controlled much of the NCAA championship game vs. No. 1 Connecticut (23-0), but a late goal by the Huskies was the difference in the 2-1 loss for the Terps.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the Maryland women and our coaching staff,” head coach Missy Meharg said. “We’ve had an incredible run, probably a run that we were surprised to be in this position. That said, UConn is a very seasoned team. I applaud them. Their team defense really held us out of their circle. They’re an excellently prepared unit.”
UConn struck first when Charlotte Veitner brought the ball in along the baseline and scored. She gave the Huskies a 1-0 lead, 14:51 into the match. Connecticut would lead 1-0 at halftime.
Freshman Kyler Greenwalt tied the match for Maryland when she buried a shot off a penalty corner in the 42nd minute. She collected a loose ball off the corner and sent it in for the equalizer with just over 28:00 to play.
The Terrapins were awarded a yellow card with 11:10 left in regulation, forcing them to play a player down for five minutes. The Huskies capitalized on the numbers situation, as Veitner scored with 8:34 left in the match to take a 2-1 lead.
Maryland outshot Connecticut, 7-5, and had four penalty corners to none for the Huskies.
The Terrapins won 10 of their last 12 games since the beginning of October. They won eight games over ranked teams in the stretch, including five top five opponents.
This marked Maryland’s 23rd straight NCAA Tournament appearance - the longest active streak in the country. The Terps have made 29 NCAA Tournament appearances and are 60-22 (.732) all-time in NCAA Tournament games, which is the highest Tournament winning percentage in the nation. Head coach Missy Meharg is 56-21 (.727) all-time in NCAA Tournament games. This is Maryland’s 18th Final Four, 17th under Meharg and 12th appearance in the NCAA final.
Meharg is in her 30th season as head coach of the Terrapins. She’s led them to a record of 543-135-9 (.797), seven NCAA titles, 23 conference titles and 17 Final Fours. She has been named NFHCA National Coach of the Year an unprecedented nine times in her career.