UNC falls to Maryland in double OT
Tar Heel field hockey loses national title game
In front of a crowd of more than 2,000 field hockey fans, No. 2 North Carolina took on No. 1 Maryland for the NCAA Championship in a rematch of last year’s final won by the Tar Heels.
After more than 95 minutes of play it was the top-seeded Terrapins who got revenge winning 3-2 in double overtime on a Meghan Frazer goal.
Maryland started the game strong pressuring the UNC back and keeping the ball in their offensive zone. Less than five minutes into the game the terrapins drew a penalty corner and capitalized to take an early 1-0 lead.
Jemma Buckley took the shot off the penalty corner and shot to the left of UNC goalie Jackie Kintzer where Maryland’s Hayley Turner deflected it in for the score.
The two teams traded attacks with Maryland controlling the pressure for the most part. With then minutes left in the half the Tar Heels began to get more chances drawing corners and counter-attacking the aggressive Maryland press.
With less than a minute left in the half Katie Ardrey made a run through he Maryland defense into the circle to draw a corner.
UNC converted the corner as Meghan Dawson drove a shot past the Maryland goalie to tie the game at one going into the half.
The Tar Heels’ momentum from the late first-half goal carried into the second-half as the came out and controlled play. Elizabeth Stephens’ nice stick work through the Maryland defense drew a corner only five minutes into the half.
On the corner UNC turned to freshman Marta Malmberg whose flick shot snuck past the goalie to give the Tar Heels the lead.
As the game headed towards a finish UNC had strong chances only to be stopped by Maryland Goalie Melissa Vassalotti on multiple opportunities.
With less than eight minutes to go Maryland got an equalizer on a nice shot by Harriet Tibble from the right of Kintzer that beat the Tar Heels goalie.
The two teams headed to overtime where 7-on-7 sudden death play would decide the champion.
Katie O’Donnell shoots it in draws a corner with 5 minutes to go. Tibble had a great chance on an open shot off a corner but Kintzer came up big with the save.
As time expired Megan Frazer drew a penalty corner on which another corner was awarded after the ball hit off a UNC player’s foot. Once the second corner was taken Buckley’s shot was deflected wide and the two teams headed to a second 15 minute overtime period.
Maryland came out of the second half and had numerous quality chances, including a breakaway by the country’s leading scorer Maryland’s Katie O’Donnell, but Kintzer continued to keep the Tar Heels in the game with one huge save after another.
With 2:10 to go Katie O’Donnell intercepted a pass and got the ball over to Frazer who took the ball into the circle cut back and got a shot off that beat Kintzer for the game-winner.
The win gave the Terrapins their seventh national championship putting them only two behind Old Dominion, who has nine, for the most in NCAA field hockey history.