No. 5 Maryland field hockey supplants No. 10 Syracuse to earn a spot in the Final Four

Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

About a minute after Syracuse tied the game, Maryland retook the lead. Defender Riley Donnelly sent a pass across the circle to midfielder Bibi Donraadt, who was all alone in front of the net, and sent the ball into the empty cage. 

Donraadt’s goal proved to be the game winner, as No. 5 Maryland field hockey supplanted No. 10 Syracuse, 2-1, to move onto the Final Four for the first time since 2018. 

“It’s just such a resilient group of women to coach,” head coach Missy Meharg said. “We came out in the second quarter and then really after halftime really just put the pressure on and we were able to dominate because of the pressure on the ball.”

Maryland and Syracuse endured a defensive stalemate throughout the first half with the teams combining for three total shots and zero penalty corners. 

But the game’s action picked up in the second half. The Terps took two shots early in the third quarter, but goaltender Brooke Borzymowski saved one shot and the other went wide.

“We needed to take our chances on attack and just getting that six to six passing when we went out in the second half was key,” midfielder Brooke DeBerdine said. 

The Terps kept pressing on and a minute later, Terps forward Hope Rose sent the ball across the shooting circle to forward/midfielder Anna Castaldo who was all alone on the left wing and snuck the ball into the left post to take 1-0 lead.

Syracuse then marched down the field and earned the game’s first penalty corner but their shot went wide. 

The Terps continued putting pressure on the Orange’s defense taking seven shots in the third quarter but Borzymowski kept Syracuse in the game, saving four shots. 

But the Orange wouldn’t be counted out.

In the early moments of the fourth quarter, the Orange earned another penalty corner and they did not waste the opportunity. Defender Eefke Van Den Nieuwenhof sent a rocket over Terps goalie Noelle Frost who was on the ground ready to block the shot. 

After Donraadt’s goal which reclaimed the lead for the Terps, the Orange kept pushing. 

And after the refs reversed a call favoring Maryland, the Orange earned a corner with 5:18 left looking for an equalizer. The ball rolled past the inserter. Syracuse recovered and passed the ball to midfielder Caroline Hoffmann, who managed to get a shot off but Frost saved the shot with her legs. 

Syracuse then pulled Borzymowski with 4:44 left in the game in search of a miracle.

The Orange drove the ball back into the circle with 1:12 left but a whistle blew before the Orange could get a clean shot off. The Terps then kept the ball away and managed to push the ball up the field, allowing the remaining seconds to tick away. 

“There are rarely times that you can look at a team and say this is what it looks like to be a championship team,” midfielder Julianna Tornetta said. “I think that’s what our team has.”

The Terps will play Liberty in Ann Arbor on Friday after Liberty upset No. 1 Rutgers in a shootout.