#6 Terps Threaten #1 UNC, Edged 4-3 in OT

Oct. 20, 2012

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. - No. 6 Maryland pushed No. 1 North Carolina to the absolute limit Saturday, but fell 4-3 in overtime at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex.

The Terrapins (12-4, 3-2 ACC) held a 3-2 lead at halftime. In front of a crowd of 1,123, they held the Tar Heels (16-1, 5-0) without a goal off their 13 penalty corners. Junior goalkeeper Natalie Hunter notched a career-high nine saves, including eight in the second half.

"We had a lot of opportunities," head coach Missy Meharg said. "We gave up too many penalty corners, but had tremendous penalty corner defense. I thought Natalie and our corner defense structure was excellent. In overtime when there's so much space and players are really fighting hard in fitness, there was great manipulation and we ended up opening up our seams a bit and gave up an off-ball 1-on-1. We'll live and learn."

"Carolina is a very, very good team. They're very disciplined. We have learned a lot from today and we'll look forward to hopefully having an opportunity against them in the ACC Tournament."

The Tar Heels got on the board first. Just under five minutes in, Loren Shealy tipped one in off a pass from Katie Ardrey for a 1-0 lead.

The Terrapins scored twice in three minutes to take a 2-1 lead. With 12:45 remaining in the first, junior Jill Witmer carried it just inside the top of the circle and cracked a hard shot to tie it up. Three minutes later, freshman Sarah Sprink struck off a penalty corner set up by senior Harriet Tibble and sophomore Katie Gerzabek for the lead.

Sprink scored her second goal with 3:53 left in the first half off a corner again set up by Tibble and Gerzabek for Maryland's third goal.

Sophomore Maxine Fluharty was dealt a yellow card with just over two minutes remaining and the Tar Heels were able to capitalize on being a player up. Carolina's Caitlin Van Sickle made it 3-2 at half with a score from the top left corner of the circle with 1:09 left in the first.

With just under 14 minutes to play, UNC's Charlotte Craddock knocked in a shot off a penalty corner, but it was called back by the umpires. Thirty-four seconds later, Craddock had one-on-one with Terps' goalkeeper Natalie Hunter, who came out of the cage to save Craddock's shot. UNC's Emma Bozek sent the game-tying shot rolling into the goal off the rebound.

UNC's Kelsey Kolojejchick and senior Megan Frazer were battling in the Heels' offensive end in the final 30 seconds, but Kolojejchick's shot was saved by Hunter. Craddock's follow-up shot was saved as well to force overtime.

In the 7-on-7 extra period, the Terrapins started off with the ball in their offensive end of the field and kept it there for the first few minutes. Witmer cracked a shot from the very top of the circle two minutes into overtime, but it hit the post.

In the 77th minute, UNC's Emily Wold was able to find space behind Hunter for a shot into the back of the cage.

Next, Maryland will welcome crosstown opponent American to the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex Monday for a 7 p.m. game. Admission is free. GameTracker live stats will be available and the game will be shown live online for a fee on TerpsTV Premium.