No. 5 Maryland field hockey advance to second round of the NCAA tournament

Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

With five minutes left in the third quarter the Terps earned a penalty corner. Midfielder Emma DeBerdine inserted the ball to defender Riley Donnelly, but Virginia blocked Donnelly’s shot and deflected the ball into the air. DeBerdine smacked the ball while it was in the air with her stick into the net to take a 2-0 lead. 

No. 5 Maryland field hockey survived a late goal from No. 13 Virginia to win 2-1 in the first round of the NCAA tournament and will face No. 10 Syracuse in the second round on Sunday. 

The Field Hockey Lacrosse Complex was rocking Friday afternoon with a large crowd and the Maryland band cheering for every call that went Maryland’s way, firing the team up.

“I think it’s incredible having so many people be able to show up and cheer for you and just know you are supported by your school,” DeBerdine said. 

Virginia controlled possession early. Not even two minutes into the game, the Cavaliers earned the match’s first penalty corner but Terps goalie Noelle Frost saved the shot and defender Rayne Wright cleared the ball away. 

Frost and the rest of the Terps defense was stellar throughout the game, stopping most of Virginia’s opportunities. Frost finished with five saves.

“It’s about being at the right place at the right time, following the game plan and staying present,” head coach Missy Meharg said. “Super proud of the women.”

Virginia had another great opportunity with under ten seconds left in the first quarter. The Cavaliers pressed the ball and got another look right in front of the net, but Frost blocked midfielder Amber Ezechiels shot and poked the ball away before Tollaksen could get shot off. 

Early in the second quarter, the Terps got on the board first and never looked back. Defender Taylor Mason sent a long pass into the circle. The ball deflected off midfielder Bibi Donraadt and forward Mayv Clune’s circle before finding the back of the net to take 1-0 lead. Donraadt was credited with the assist and the dish marked her 100th career point at Maryland. 

“One thing we’ve worked on all season is framing the goal cage and making sure that we are in the right positions to score,” Clune said. “Bibi did a great job of being at the penalty stroke spot and just popping up to get the ball.”

Frost made another critical save with under five minutes left in the half. Defender Makayla Gallen drove the ball into the circle but Frost poked the ball away with her stick to prevent Gallen from taking a shot. 

Frost’s biggest save came early in the fourth quarter. The Cavaliers earned another penalty corner. Frost came off her line again and saved defender Rachel Robinson’s shot on the left corner of the goal to preserve the Terps 2-0 lead. 

The Cavaliers finally found the back of the net with under two minutes remaining when midfielder Adele Iacobucci deflected the ball into the net off a penalty corner to cut the deficit to 2-1. 

The Terps held on to secure the victory and one final time at home against Syracuse on Sunday at 1 p.m. 

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