By Brandon Schwartzberg
No. 5 Maryland field hockey entered the third quarter up 1-0 over No. 13 Virginia, looking to add on to their lead. With five minutes left in the quarter, the Terps did just that.
Midfielder Emma DeBerdine scored an unreal goal for the Terps, flicking her stick high above her head before swatting the ball directly into the back of the cage. The DeBerdine goal extended the Terps lead to 2-0, as Maryland held on for a 2-1 victory over the Cavaliers to advance to the Elite Eight.
“We’re excited to be advancing to have the opportunity to get another home crowd,” coach Missy Meharg said following the victory. “Our administrative team was amazing and what we put together and having us have the energy and support from in the stands and on the sidelines and certainly the band and Testudo being here gives you that feeling and dominance.”
The start of the game was controlled by defense, as neither team found the back of the cage early on.
Virginia was awarded a penalty corner less than two minutes into the game, but strong Maryland defense, headlined by a defensive save from defender Rayne Wright, kept the Cavaliers off the scoreboard.
With 4:31 left in the first quarter, Maryland was awarded their first penalty corner. The corner was sent in to midfielder Julianna Tornetta, whose shot was deflected out of bounds by the Cavaliers defense, keeping the game in a scoreless tie.
With the clock winding down in the first quarter, Virginia looked to push the ball looking to score. Midfielder Adele Iacobucci put up one last shot in the quarter, but a great diving save by Maryland goalkeeper Noelle Frost sent the game scoreless into the second quarter.
Less than two minutes into the second quarter, Maryland broke the scoreless tie.
The ball found forward Mayv Clune in front of the goal, and Clune’s deflection shot off a loose ball got past the Virginia goalkeeper Tyler Kennedy before she could make a play on it, resulting in a 1-0 Terps lead.
Midway through the second quarter, Maryland thought they had scored their second goal of the game, courtesy of midfielder Kyler Greenwalt. However, the officials went to video review, and the call on the field was overturned. No goal was scored for the Terps, and their lead remained 1-0.
Frost played an excellent first half for the Terps, not allowing any of the Cavaliers’ eight shots to find the back of the cage. Maryland had four saves in the first half, three of which coming from Frost.
The play from Frost and the rest of the Maryland defense helped the Terps enter halftime with a 1-0 lead.
Each team traded penalty corners early on in the third quarter, with neither side able to score a goal.
The corner from the Terps was mishandled on the send in, and Virginia took the ball back on offense. The Virginia corner was shot by back Amber Ezechiels, but a fantastic diving save from Frost kept the Maryland shutout in tack.
With less than five minutes remaining in the third quarter, Maryland scored a huge insurance goal off their second penalty corner of the quarter.
DeBerdine scored an unbelievable goal for the Terps, as Deberdine stuck her stick high once she saw the ball in the air, swatted the ball hard into the back of the cage, extending the Terps lead to 2-0.
“We practice that kind of stuff in practice all the time,” DeBerdine said of her goal. “It’s just we do anything to get a goal and we needed to get goals today. I’ve never actually done that in a game before today, so that was really exciting for me.”
At the end of the quarters of action, Maryland held a 2-0 lead. Virginia needed to badly switch things up on offensive if they wanted to have a shot at getting back in the game.
Only a minute and a half into the fourth quarter, Virginia was awarded a huge penalty corner. The corner was sent in by back Rachel Robinson to midfielder Noa Boterman, who passed it right back to Robinson. The shot from Robinson was saved following a beautiful diving stop by Frost, and the Maryland lead remained 2-0.
With just under three minutes left in the fourth quarter, Virginia was awarded their ninth penalty corner of the game, and finally, the Cavaliers got on the scoreboard.
Iacobucci scored for the Cavaliers off a deflection off the corner, getting the ball right past Noelle Frost.
Virginia took out their goalkeeper following the Iacobucci goal, looking for added offense as the clock was winding down. The added offense wasn’t enough as Maryland’s defense held strong, and the Terps advanced to the second round, while the Cavaliers’ season ended.