Last year’s match for the Maryland field hockey team against Princeton featured a powerful Maryland attack that resulted in four unanswered goals and a Maryland win. Although this match did not involve a battle back, it did involve another emotional end and a 4-3 Maryland win.
When talking about the opposition, Coach Missy Meharg noted, “I think the coaching staff is outstanding and the players are outstanding.”
Similar to last year’s match, this game began with a Princeton goal. Maryland started this match already having to battle back after a powerful strike by Sammy Popper of Princeton eight minutes in. The Tigers managed to show discipline with their tidy possessions and seamless ball movement at the opening minutes of the game and it showed on the scoreboard. With two Princeton shots to Maryland’s one, the first quarter looked to be a gritty defensive battle.
Five minutes into the second period the Terps were able to get three penalty shot opportunities and finally put points on the board on their third attempt with a goal by Linda Cobano. In this period, the Terps brought much more energy, and the goal by Cobano assisted the effort.
Princeton had almost no breathing space when with possession of the ball and Maryland managed to squeak in opportunities off of penalty corners. The second quarter proved to be entirely different from the first for both sides; consisting of penalty corners and solid defense from the Terp backline.
The second half quickly turned into a shoot out with both teams scoring less than two minutes into the half. The first came from Cobano scoring her second of the match off a rebounded shot.
“I’m glad I found my position on the team somehow and I’m glad it worked out pretty well for us,” said Cobano referring to her performance this game.
In response, the Clara Roth of Princeton was able to easily score less than a minute after Cobano’s shot and even up the match with 14 minutes left in the half. After 8 minutes of gridlock and back and forth, Roth earned another opportunity to score and capitalized with her second of the match, making the score 3-2 in favor of the Tigers.
In an action-packed third period, neither side had an advantage even with the Terps taking several more shots on the Tiger backline. After giving a jolt of energy in the second period the Terps seemed to fall flat in the third period and fell victim to Princeton’s counter-attack.
The fourth quarter was much of a push and pull affair with the Terps looking to tie the game and close the score gap and the Tigers looked to widen the gap with another goal rather than taking time off the clock. The urgency of the Terps was matched by the aggression of the Tigers.
But after 10 minutes of quiet play, Bibi Donraadt was able to tie the game up after cleaning up the penalty corner attempt of the quarter making the score 3-3.
“Bibi is definitely a person who can decide a game in the end… she plays really good when she has high pressure on her,” said Cobano.
The Terps take the momentum and find two solid opportunities with a shot by Donraadt and a penalty corner attempt that fell flat. With neither team unable to score, the game goes into overtime.
As the fifth straight overtime between these two teams, both sides were ready for extra time displaying plenty of composure in the opening minutes. Although the Terps took a back seat when it came to offensive pressure their defense showed plenty of strength and stopped every Princeton attack, disallowing any shots on goal.
With both teams earning penalty chances they were unable to reach the back of their respective cages. Maryland, however, got the most shots on goal in the overtime period entirely off of penalty corner attempts.
With seven seconds left, the Terps were able to get their final penalty corner opportunity and Hannah Bond was able to squeak in a goal with time expiring giving Maryland the win.
Although Maryland started off on the wrong foot, they were able to regain their footing and earn a hard fought win.