Nov. 2, 2007
NEWTON, Mass. - Third-ranked Wake Forest used a late goal to upset second-ranked Maryland field hockey, 2-1, in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament on Friday evening in Newton, Mass. Sophomore Nicole Muracco scored the Terps' only goal of the game, while senior goalkeeper Kathryn Masson made five saves.
"I feel bad for our seniors and for the backfield who did a tremendous job tonight. I am really pleased with the way the deep defense played tonight," said Maryland head coach Missy Meharg. "We played an amazing 35 minutes, but didn't bring that same commitment in the second half. Wake Forest is a great team and they have developed a lot. It was a great game of hockey."
Maryland took control of the game early on, striking first when the league's Offensive Player of the Year freshman Katie O'Donnell (Blue Bell, Pa.) fed a pass to Nicole Muracco (Sewell, N.J.) in front of the goal for a 1-0 lead. For Muracco, it was the 13th goal of the season.
The Deacons, however, slowly began to seize the momentum, which had been primarily in the Terps favor. Maryland held a 1-0 lead until WF's Aileen Davis notted the game at 1-1, knocking in a pass from Minou Gimbere at 46:10.
The teams battles back and forth for the next 20 minutes. Kathryn Masson (Richmond, British Columbia) made a save on a Wake Forest shot and, on the ensuing scramble, Chelsea Cipriani punched in the deciding goal with just over a minute remaining in the game.
Masson's five saves all came at crucial moments, including two diving stops. Her counterpart in the Wake Forest cage had three stops.
"We need to look at playing 35 minutes," Meharg continued. "We have a level we can play at and that is a championship level. We are fortunate we have something [NCAA Tournament] to look forward to. We need to address the problems we had tonight and learn from it. We're a great team and we need to play like a great team."
The loss is only the second for Maryland, who falls to 17-2 on the season. WFU improves to 14-4 and moves on to the championship game on Sunday, Nov. 4 to battle No. 1 North Carolina. The Terrapins, meanwhile, await to learn their fate when the NCAA Tournament committee makes its bracket announcement on Tuesday, Nov. 6 at approximately 8 p.m.
#3 Wake Forest (14-4) 0 2 - 2 #2 Maryland (17-2) 1 0 - 0GOALS: WF, Aileen Davis (Minou Gimberre), 46:10; Chelsea Cipriani (un), 68:58. MD, Nicole Muracco (Katie O'Donnell), 9:29. SHOTS: WF 11, MD 6. PENALTY CORNERS: WF 5, MD 3. SAVES: WF, Crystal Duffield 3 (1 GA, 70:00); MD, Kathryn Masson 5 (2 GA, 70:00). ATTENDANCE: 242.