Midway through the second overtime period, forward Hope Rose drove the ball into the circle and around Huskies goalie Cheyenne Sprecher who came off her line.
Rose’s shot missed, but midfielder Bibi Donraadt tapped the ball into the empty net to give No. 2 Maryland field hockey (16-2, B1G 7-1) a 2-1 double-overtime victory against No. 13 UConn (11-6, 5-2) in the regular season finale.
“I knew that she was most likely going to take that shot, so that’s why I waited at the far post in case there was going to be a rebound,” Donraadt said. “That indeed happened; it came off the post, and I was right there to tip it in.”
The game was not pretty for the Terps early on as UConn dominated, drawing nine first-half penalty corners while outshooting the Terps 10-8 at halftime.
The Huskies scored first early in the second quarter when defender Claire Jandeworth’s shot off a penalty corner sailed past goalie Christina Calandra, who made her second straight start.
A few minutes later, Maryland successfully defended a run of four straight Huskie penalty corners. Calandra made two big saves, including a kick save, sending the ball high into the air.
“I thought they were excellent at reading what we had prepared for them to see, and they were able to sniff it out and to block it,” head coach Missy Meharg said. “That’s been an area that’s been a little bit weak for us, so today was a big day for corner defense.”
The Terps started to find their groove late in the first half, taking four shots, but none found the net. Despite allowing nine first half penalty corners, the Terps only entered halftime trailing 1-0.
“We had to get used to pre-scanning a little bit more, making sure that we bring our teammates to a good position right away,” Donraadt said. “Once we were settled, we were able to pass the ball around a little bit better to the countryside of the field; we were able to bring it a little bit more up the field.”
Maryland continued putting on the pressure to start the second half earning three-straight penalty corners.
On the Terps’ third, Donraadt opted to insert the ball short to Rose, who was to the left of the stick setter. Rose buried the equalizer for her team-leading 12th goal of the season.
Rose finished the game with three points and has scored or assisted on the last three Maryland goals.
Neither team could score during the final 28 minutes of regulation, with each team only taking one shot in the fourth quarter.
In the first overtime, each team had opportunities to win the game. Maryland earned two penalty corners in the opening few minutes of the first overtime, but midfielder Danielle van Rootselaar was unable to convert on both her shots.
Both Calandra and Sprecher each recorded clutch saves in the first overtime preserving the tie.
UConn had an opportunity late in the first overtime, but Calandra successfully cut off the angle allowing for Rose and Donraadt’s heroics.
“Any save is a good save,” Meharg said. “I think that save in an overtime situation where there’s so much space is what is phenomenal. She came out; she played the angle well; went back, and then made the save.”
Next up, the Terps will travel to Columbus for the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 2 seed and will take on No. 7 seeded Ohio State on Thursday at 2 p.m.