By Brandon Schwartzberg
With the game just tied early in the fourth quarter, Maryland field hockey looked to regain their lead. Midfielder Emma DeBerdine held the ball for the Terps, and with all the defensive attention drawn to her, found midfielder Bibi Donraadt in front of the goal. Donraadt flicked the ball into the back of the cage, putting Maryland back in front 2-1.
No. 5 Maryland took on No. 10 Syracuse in an NCAA Tournament Elite Eight matchup, with a spot in the Final Four on the line. It was a high intensity battle all throughout, but the Terps got the better of the Orange, downing Syracuse 2-1.
Defense reigned supreme early on, as neither team managed to put up a single shot early on.
With six minutes left in the first quarter, Syracuse looked to get on the board first. Forward Hailey Bitters had a good opportunity in transition for the Orange, but her shot missed wide and the game remained scoreless.
Each defense played exceptionally well in the first quarter, as both squads had great rotations and clogs of the passing lanes.
With the game tied 0-0 entering the second quarter, both teams looked to find offensive rhythms.
The second quarter started out the same way as the first, with both defenses being in full control of the tempo of the game.
Each quarter of the first half was seemingly identical to each other, as defenses dominated and there wasn’t a single stoppage of play in either quarter.
Three total shots were put up in the first half, as neither team found a rhythm on offense. No penalty corners were attempted from either side, as both teams looked to make halftime adjustments on offense.
Maryland came out aggressive to start the second half, a decision that paid dividends for the Terps.
The Terps put up three shots within the first three minutes of the third quarter, looking to score first.
Forward Hope Rose had the ball in transition on the fastbreak for the Terps. Rose made an excellent lead pass to midfielder Anna Castaldo in front of the cage, and Castaldo took care of the rest, firing the ball past Syracuse goalkeeper Brooke Borzymowski into the net to put Maryland up 1-0.
Syracuse’s first chance to put a goal on the board came shortly after, when the Orange were rewarded with a penalty corner. However, the shot from back Eefke Van Dan Nieuwenhof missed wide and the score remained 1-0 Maryland.
Less than two minutes into the fourth quarter, Syracuse had a golden opportunity to tie the game.
After coming oh-so-close to a goal after the shot hit the crossbar, the Orange were given a penalty corner.
With the corner sent in and Maryland goalkeeper Noelle Frost already on the ground, Van Dan Nieuwenhof sent one into the back of the cage, tying the game at one-a-piece.
Only a minute later, Maryland regained the lead.
Emma Deberdne found Bibi Donraadt in front of the cage, and Donraadt tapped the ball into the net, sending the fans into a frenzy as the Terps went back in front 2-1.
With the clock winding down under five minutes, Syracuse pulled their goalkeeper in favor of more offense. The added offense wasn’t enough, as the Terps held strong on defense to close out a tightly played contest as they moved on to the Final Four.
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