Nov. 16, 2003
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The third-seeded Maryland field hockey team advances to the national semifinals of the NCAA Tournament after defeating seventh-ranked Penn State, 5-0, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday afternoon at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex. Five different players scored in the win as sophomore goalkeeper Tori Cano posted back-to-back shutouts over the weekend.
"Penn State is one of the top three athletic teams we have faced this year. [Today] was the best we have played this season," said Maryland head coach Missy Meharg. "Today [Maryland] played at a championship-caliber level of play."
Penn State (18-7) came out strong, drawing the first penalty corner for either team less than three minutes into the game. After that, the Terps (20-3) controlled the action for most of the rest of the game, scoring three goals on seven first-half shots, while limiting the Nittany Lions to just one in the period.
The Terps' first goal came in the sixth minute of play on a penalty corner. UM's penalty corner opportunity was broken up and junior Sara Silvetti (Wapwallopen, Pa.) passed off to classmate Anja Boettcher (Ingolstadt, Germany) on the recovery, who slammed the ball into the back of the cage for the eventual game winner. Two minutes later, sophomore Tiffany Marsh (Marathon, N.Y.) sailed a shot over Penn State goalkeeper Annie Zinkavich's head into the high left corner, giving Maryland 2-0 lead.
The Terps put the game away before the break, scoring again in the 20th minute when junior All-American Colleen Barbieri (Centereach, N.Y.) worked her way through the midfield, setting herself up for a wide-open shot at the top of the circle.
Ahead 3-0, the Terps added two more goals late in the second period to blow the game wide open. Junior Meredith Long (Ocean City, N.J.) and freshman Paula Infante (Santiago, Chile) both tallied goals on assists from sophomore All-ACC performer Jackie Ciconte (Wilmington, Del.) and Marsh, respectively.
"We proved today we can step it up to the next level," said Barbieri of the team's play.
The Maryland defense kept PSU to its lowest shot total of the season, allowing just four, while the Terps attemped 13. Both teams drew four penalty corners apiece. Cano ended the game with two saves, helping the Terps to their 10th shutout of the season. PSU's Zinkavich notched four saves.
Maryland plays Duke in the national semifinal in Amherst, Mass., on Nov. 21. The Terps have appeared in the national semifinal nine times (once in the AIAW Championships in 1979), eight times in the NCAA Tournament. Maryland has won the NCAA crown three times (1987, 1993, 1999). The Blue Devils defeated Old Dominion this afternoon, 8-2, in Durham, N.C., to advance. Game times will be determined at a later date. The winner of the national semifinals goes onto play in the championship game on Nov. 23.
#7 Penn State (18-7) 0 0 - 0 #3 Maryland (20-3) 3 2 - 5GOALS: UM, Anja Boettcher (Sara Silvetti), 5:43; Tiffany Marsh, 7:46; Colleen Barbieri, 19:37; Meredith Long (Jackie Ciconte), 55:53; Paula Infante (Tiffany Marsh), 69:26. SHOTS: PSU 4. UM 13. PENALTY CORNERS: PSU 4, UM 4. SAVES: PSU, Annie Zinkavich 4 (5 GA, 70:00); UM Tori Cano 2 (0 GA, 70:00). ATTENDANCE: 314.
-- TERPS --