Nov. 5, 2006
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Wake Forest's goal with just 11 second remaining in the first half was enough for the Demon Deacons to top the top-ranked and top-seeded Maryland field hockey team, 1-0, in the championship game of the ACC Tournament. Defenders Paula Infante and Susie Rowe were both named to the All-Tournament team.
Senior Paula Infante (Santiago, Chile) is only the third player in school history to be named ACC All-Tournament four times and the first since Caroline Walter who was named to the all-star squad from 1998-01. Sophomore Susie Rowe's (London, England) selection was the second of her career. She was last year's tournament most valuable player.
With the top two teams in the nation squaring off for the conference title for the second-straight year, the title tilt was as exciting as anticipated. Both teams came into the game as the co-regular season champions, with Maryland earning the top seed after it defeated WFU, 3-2, in late September.
In the first half, much of the battle going on was in the midfield, as neither team gave up many scoring opportunities. Wake Forest had just four shots in the first period, while the Terps, who sport one of the top offenses in the nation, had none.
Maryland drew the first penalty corner of the game with less than 24 minutes remaining in the half, but the shot was too high and waved off.
With under 20 minutes to play, Wake Forest got its first opportunity on the offensive end. After junior All-ACC goalkeeper Kathryn Masson (Richmond, British Columbia) made a save on a baseline shot by WF's Tracey Scott, the Demon Deacons were awarded the first of only three penalty corners for the game. Wake could not make the stop on the push out, however, and the rushed shot went wide.
With less than four minutes remaining in the half, Maryland was in the shooting circle but could not get a shot off. On the counter, the Deacons sprinted down field but ACC Defensive Player of the Year Infante made the stop, allowing the rest of the defense to catch up.
Still able to keep the ball in the Terps' defensive end despite the big defensive play, Wake Forest got another penalty corner with just 2:20 remaining in the half. The direct shot by Lauren Crandall, a member of the U.S. National Team, was stopped by Masson to keep the game scoreless.
But with time winding down in the half, Wake Forest's Michelle Kasold ran down the right side of the field and took a running shot which sailed high and into side of the cage for the only goal of the game.
The second half was a different story as Maryland came out with renewed energy. Maryland outshot WFU, 5-2 in the period, one shot less than Wake Forest attempted the entire game. The Terps also had five penalty corners in the final 35 minutes, three of which came in the final minutes. However, Wake's goal would stand up and the conference champion was crowned.
Masson finished the game with two saves while Demon Deacon Crystal Duffield had just one.
It is just the second loss of the season for Maryland who goes into the postseason with a 19-2 record and Wake Forest improved to 19-1.
The announcement of the 16-team NCAA Tournament will be on Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m. on CSTV.
#2 Wake Forest (19-1) 1 0 - 1 #1 Maryland (19-1) 0 0 - 0GOALS: WF, Michelle Kasold, un, 34:39. MD, None. SHOTS: WF 6, MD 5. PENALTY CORNERS: WF 3, MD 6. SAVES: WF, Crystal Duffield 1 (0 GA, 70:00); MD, Kathryn Masson 2 (1 GA, 70:00) ATTENDANCE: 391.