NEWTON, Mass. – Junior All-ACC honoree Maxine Fluharty scored in overtime to lead top-seeded Maryland to the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game with a 3-2 win over fourth-seeded Duke Friday at Boston College.
Maryland (19-1, 6-0 ACC) led 2-0 at the half, then Duke (14-6, 3-3) scored twice in the second half and tied it with just over three minutes to play. Fluharty scored the gamewinner 3:52 into overtime off a penalty corner.
"We opened the game with one of the best halves of hockey so far this year," head coach Missy Meharg said. "Duke made great tactical adjustments at the half which slowed down our attack. They are well-coached and fiery, so I am proud of our overtime mentality. Having the timeout to gain the energy to advance to the final was key."
The Terrapins, who own the nation’s top offense, wasted no time taking control offensively. They outshot the Blue Devils, 12-2 and had three corners to zero in the first period.
Maryland scored its first goal just 8:44 in when sophomore Alyssa Parker punched in senior Jill Witmer’s rebounded shot off a save.
In the 24th minute, redshirt freshman Emma Rissinger gave the Terrapins a two-goal lead. Witmer cracked another shot that was saved by Duke keeper Lauren Blazing, then Rissinger was there for the putback from the left post.
Duke, which is ranked No. 8 nationally, got on the board with 16:05 to play when Abby Beltrani scored from the post to cut Maryland’s lead in half.
The Blue Devils tied it up with 3:17 left off a penalty corner. Hannah Barreca scored the tying goal.
Meharg called timeout just 1:21 into the 15-minute overtime period to regroup. About a minute later, Fluharty had the ball inside the circle and won the corner that led to the winning goal.
Goalkeeper Natalie Hunter notched three saves for the Terrapins.
The Terps will make their 24th appearance in Sunday’s championship game and will face either second-seeded Syracuse or third-seeded North Carolina at 1 p.m. in Newton, Mass. Maryland has won nine ACC titles, all under head coach Missy Meharg, and most recently, three straight in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
The match will be shown live on RSN, which includes Comcast SportsNet locally, as well as ESPN3.com. For a list of other channels carrying the game, log on to TheACC.com. Live stats and more information can be found at http://www.theacc.com/#!/page/championship_w-fieldh.
Six Terrapins were named to the 23-member All-ACC Team released Wednesday. The Terrapins had more honorees than any of the other six league schools. Seniors Jill Witmer, Ali McEvoy, goalkeeper Natalie Hunter and junior Maxine Fluharty were all voted to the 11-member First Team. Sophomore Sarah Sprink and junior Katie Gerzabek earned spots on the Second Team.
The Terrapins are the unanimous No. 1 in both the Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I National Coaches poll and the latest NCAA RPI rankings released Nov. 5. The Terps have held the top spot in both polls since early October.