Nov. 16, 2012
NORFOLK, Va. - No. 6 Maryland was edged by No. 2 Princeton, 3-2, Friday night in the NCAA Semifinals off a penalty stroke awarded to the Tigers in the sixth minute of overtime. The Terrapins' defense held the nation's No. 1 offense at bay for most of the game. After trailing 2-1 late, Maryland tied it up off a stroke with 14 minutes to play.
"We're just very proud of the Maryland team," head coach Missy Meharg said. "They played a tremendous game, stuck to the plans. Princeton is such a fast team and they're counterattack is probably the best in the NCAA that I've ever seen. This is just really a tribute to Ali McEvoy and our deep defense for being able to control that speed for most of the game."
"All of us as coaches, whether it be high school or club or whatever, know it's all about November. That's always a really exciting time. I'm not surprised that we put our best game together tonight and I'm really thankful for that."
Princeton struck first less than four minutes in, when Kat Sharkey, the nation's leading scorer, carried it into the top of the circle from the left side and banged one in.
Six minutes later, junior Jill Witmer sent in a rebounded shot off from the right post off a corner to tie it up. Harriet Tibble took the initial shot off the penalty corner and Witmer was there for the putback.
Princeton took another lead in the 26th minute when Katie Reinprecht got it to Sharkey for the score. It was 2-1 at halftime and throughout most of the second half.
Maryland (18-6) tied it up with under 14 minutes to play. The Terrapins were awarded a penalty corner at 13:44 and were given a penalty stroke on the play. With the clock stopped, junior Ali McEvoy buried the stroke shot just inside the crossbar to tie it up.
With 30 seconds left in regulation, the Tigers (20-1) were awarded a penalty corner. The clock ran out and the Terrapins broke up the play, but another corner was given. On the second corner, with the clock at zero, McEvoy made a diving play to send the ball out of bounds and force 7-vs.-7 overtime.
With just over nine minutes left in overtime, the Tigers brought the ball up and in the right side of the circle. As they dribbled it in, goalkeeper Natalie Hunter and Terrapin defenders collapsed on the play. The umpire gave the Tigers a penalty stroke with 9:04 to play and Teresa Benvenuti made it for the sudden-death win.
Maryland is 53-17 all-time in NCAA Tournament play for more tournament wins than any other school. They have advanced to 16 Final Fours overall and 15 under Meharg.
In their four-year career, seniors Kirstie Dennig, Megan Frazer, Colleen Gulick, Danielle Kauffman, Janessa Pope, Lindsey Puckett, Harriet Tibble and Tara Zollinger competed in four Final Fours, three NCAA title games and three ACC title games. They won the 2010 and 2011 NCAA Championships and 2009 and 2010 ACC titles. They compiled a record of 83-12 (.874).