This was a game made for afternoon drama as number 7 ranked Princeton upset the number 2 ranked and undefeated Maryland Terps 4-3 in double overtime. The game had significance at several levels. Carla Tagliente, the Princeton coach, along with the Princeton assistant, Dina Rizzo played for Missy Meharg at Maryland. Rizzo had also been an assistant under Meharg. Tagliente hadn’t beaten Meharg and Maryland since 2017. This was the fifth straight Maryland/ Princeton game that went to overtime and eighth straight game decided by one goal. Personally, it was a reunion of sorts since my daughter played at Maryland and Tagliente and Rizzo were her roommates.
The two teams went back and forth all game with all-American Beth Yeager tying the game late in the fourth quarter and scoring the winning goal in the second overtime period. Both scores came on penalty corners.
The Terps were to win the statical battle recording 19 shots, 11 of which were on goal to. Princeton’s 11 shots, 9 of which were on goal. Robyn Thompson was to have an excellent afternoon between the pipes recording 8 saves during the contest for the Tigers.
Maryland opened the scoring with a goal by Belie Bressler assisted by Hope Rose at 23:56 into the first half. It wan’t until 32:13 in the second half that Princeton was to even the score with a Hannah Davey score on a penalty corner. Princeton was to be behind three times during the game and forced to come back to even the score each time.
After two attempts by Maryland, 2 minutes later Maryland was able to go ahead again on a Margot Lawn strike making the score 2-1. Fans had to wait 10 minutes before Princeton was able to even the score again on an Ali McCarthy strike, her third of the season, tying up the score to 2-2.
The crowd was treated to a contest of skill and fitness as both teams passed and ran from one end of the field to the other. Hope Rose from Maryland was to break the tie at 52:22 with her eighth goal for the season putting the Terps ahead of the Tigers with less than six minutes left in regulation.
Princeton would not let up and as both teams were digging deep into their fitness reserves, Princeton’s Yaeger was to get off a rocket with less than two minutes left tying the score for the last time in regulation.
Overtime was no less intense as both teams had their chances to end the game. Princeton was to end the first overtime with a shot by McCarthy with five seconds left in the period. However, Yeager was to complete her heroics for the afternoon with an assist by Ophelia Bemeimans and Ali McCarthy scoring on a hard direct hit to the left side of the cage.
After the game there were hugs all around as Meharg went to embrace her former players, Carla and Dina. One had the feeling this might not be the last, these two teams could meet this season. Both teams. will go on to their league schedules later this week. Princeton will host Lafayette on Sunday.