It was a Tuesday night, and my wife had off the following day and we decided to take the 75 minute drive to Princeton to watch the undefeated number 3 ranked Terrapins take on the Number 5 ranked Princeton Tigers in a 6 pm match. This game had several attractions for us. My daughter Sarah played for Maryland and she took the train down from New York to join us, we are still in contact with and friends with Missy Meharg, the very fine Maryland coach and Carla Tagliente, the Princeton head coach was my daughter’s roommate at Maryland along with assistant coach Dina Rizzo.
It became sort of a reunion, as several parents from my daughter’s playing days showed up to view the game along with Mark Fratto who used to announce the Maryland field hockey games. He arrived with his new baby and was the surprise announcer that night. He has a business providing announcing for many sports events including championship boxing events. In addition, there were old friends from the BOT of US Field Hockey.
Just to make the evening even more friendly Fran Delahanty, Lafayette parent, took the drive over to watch the festivities. None. of us were disappointed as we saw an exciting game where Maryland won 5-4 in double overtime after being down 1-4. No one left the game early, no players or coaches were sitting down on the sidelines conceding, this was an intense, well played match by outstanding, well coached teams.
Maryland opened the scoring after only 1:26 had ticked off on the clock off a turnover by Madison Maguire who passed to Kyler Greenwalt who used a perfect reverse stick to rocket the ball past the Princeton Goalie. But Princeton was not going to lie down as they used their speed and skill to run off 4 goals in row, the first occurred as Clara Roth dribbled along the left side, sending the shot to the backboards at 6:44. Roth was to get her second goal 12 minutes later assisted by Davey Hannah. The third goal came ten minutes later came from Jane Donio-Enscoe assisted by Roth. The second period saw Princeton’s fourth and final goal nine minutes into the half off a penalty stroke by Julianna Tornetta.
At that point Princeton had taken 5 shots and scored 4 goals and found themselves ahead 4-1. I was impressed with the speed of the Princeton forwards who raced to place themselves at the post at every opportunity, and were to get rebounds or receive long breaking passes from their midfield.
Despite the stroke and goal, Meharg’s halftime “advice” to her charges was beginning to take effect and following a 5 minute yellow card to Princeton’s Hannah Davey at 47:06 the Terrapins began to come back, first off a rebound by Kelee Lepage during a corner. We had to wait nine minutes for the goal that was to bring Maryland within one when Sabrina Rhodes deflected a Brooke DeBerdine shot at 56:54.
The players were exhausted, but I was impressed with Maryland’s patient persistence. With four minutes to go Meharg pulled her goalie and inserted a kickback. With less than 15 seconds left in the game Bibi Donraadt with the assist from Madison Maguire used two deflections to score the tying goal to send the game to overtime.
Maryland had outshot and out cornered the Tigers but the Tigers were to use their speed and didn’t waste opportunities. The overtime would be anyone’s guess.
The first overtime was slower than one would have expected, but Maryland did get off one shot in the first overtime which like several before it in the regular period went off the mark. The overtime became more of chess match than a manic fast paced desperation sudden death it often times is. Perhaps it was the heat and humidity, or perhaps it was just the tension of the game that slowed the pace.
The game ended in the second overtime at 81:27 as Nike Lorenz dribbling to the left corner found some space and finished with her eighth goal of the season. We talked with coaches after the game and the responses were predictable. Maryland will continue on undefeated into their tough Big Ten schedule and Princeton will meet Dartmouth as they kick off their Ivy League schedule. I would not want to be Dartmouth!!
Maryland “Never Gave up” and overcame the 1-4 deficit, and Princeton used their speed to place people in a position to score. Very entertaining contest.