Nov. 16, 2012
PALO ALTO, Calif. - The No. 4 seed University of Maryland women's soccer team saw its season come to a close with a 3-2 overtime loss to Denver in the second round of the NCAA tournament Friday night at Stanford's Cagan Stadium.
Denver got the first chances of the game with an early corner kick and the game's first shot, but it was Maryland which drew first blood. Senior Becky Kaplan dribbled through the Pioneer defense down the left side and got off a solid strike that was saved by Denver keeper Lara Campbell. But Campbell couldn't control the rebound and junior Hayley Brock was there to put the rebound in with a sliding effort.
A scramble inside the Maryland 18 in the 19th minute saw a shot by Denver's Nikki Pappalardo, but her strike was block by freshman Erika Nelson to keep the Terps up by a goal at 1-0.
Freshman Alexis Prior-Brown checked into the game in the 27th minute and had a good look at the Denver goal in the 28th off of a pass from Brock, but Campbell was there to make the save for the Pioneers.
The second half opened with a quality chance for Spivey. After dribbling through four Pioneer defenders she ripped a shot from 22 yards out that sailed just left of the Denver goal in the 48th minute.
Denver's first opportunity of the second half came on a free kick from 35 yards by Sam Harder. She strike was well hit, but went just over the crossbar to end the threat.
Kaplan was working hard all evening and it paid off in the 60th minute when she took a ball from Foothill Ranch, Calif., native Aubrey Baker and finished it into the left side of the net from just inside the 18-yard box.
The Pioneers trimmed the Terrapin lead back to a goal in the 68th when Harder took a free kick from 40 yards out and played it inside the 18. Maryland keeper Rachelle Beanlands came off of her line to make a play for the ball, but Nicholette DiGiacomo was able to get on the end of the service first and flick it past Beanlands and into the exposed net.
Beanlands came up with a huge save in the 79th minute with an acrobatic save, knocking away a drive by Nikki Pappalardo that was headed into the upper right 90 with a leaping one-handed save.
DiGiacomo looked to pull Denver even in the 83rd minute with a good strike from distance, but Beanlands was there to make the easy save and preserve the one-goal Maryland lead.
With :40 left on the clock Baker was called for a questionable foul in the box, giving the Pioneers a penalty kick. DiGiacomo stepped up to the spot and sent the ball to the lower right. Beanlands dove to her left and got a piece of the ball, but it had enough pace to get through and tie the match at 2-2.
Maryland had the first chance of overtime when Spivey took a touch and got between a pair of Denver defenders, but her drive from 20 yards was picked out of the air by Campbell.
DiGiacomo ended the match with a strike into the upper left 90 past a diving Beanlands in the 94th minute.
"I want to thank our seniors for really making this season so special," said Maryland head coach Jonathan Morgan. "I know they are hurting now but I hope they realize how many great moments we had as a team this season because of their leadership. My heart goes out to them and the entire team because I feel they deserved better than what they got tonight. Unfortunately, life and sport can be cruel. I thought we had a terrific effort tonight. We just weren't as sharp as we could have been in some areas.
"Denver is a talented team and it's clear they have a winners mentality to accompany that talent. They deserve a lot of credit because they could have very easily folded when we went up 2-0. We had control of the match and looked to be in a good place. Instead, they continued the fight and found a way to get the result. I wish them luck moving forward in the tournament. Congratulations to Jeff [Hooker] and his team."