No. 9 Maryland field hockey drew a penalty corner late in overtime against No. 17 Princeton, and Emma DeBerdine inserted the ball to an open Riley Donnelly.
After Donnelly’s shot missed, the Terps did what they had been doing all afternoon — they battled. And off a rebound, Maura Verleg nailed the game-winner, giving her team a 4-3 win.
It was the fourth straight meeting between the Terps and Tigers that went to overtime — and the fourth straight Maryland win.
“Princeton always comes out. It’s always such a fun game,” Brooke DeBerdine said. With these games, you’ve gotta be able to control the energy. And I think we did a pretty good job after halftime being able to do that.”
It was a quiet first quarter, for the most part. Both sides had some chances, but no shots were able to fall. But with two-and-a-half minutes left in the opening period, Maryland got on the board.
Bibi Donraadt knocked the ball into an open part of the cage off a rebound. The senior’s fourth goal of the season gave the Terps a 1-0 lead.
But that lead only lasted for 35 seconds.
Princeton immediately answered with a goal of its own. The Tigers’ Claire Donovan retrieved a loose ball after a corner and appeared to bury her first goal of the season. The officials went to the press tent, and after a lengthy review, determined the goal would stand. The game was knotted at one. But again, not for long.
Just after the second quarter began, Princeton was working with the ball in the backfield in front of Maryland’s sideline. Margot Lawn came running in, making a stellar defensive play to steal the ball.
As Lawn flew toward the goal, her teammates jumped up and down in excitement on the sideline after her miraculous play. She dumped the ball off to Emma DeBerdine, who buried her second goal of the season — making it a 2-1 Terps lead.
“We’ve got an engine room of defense in there that’s getting better and better,” coach Missy Meharg said.
Again, Maryland’s lead didn’t last long.
Princeton’s Hannah Davey brought the ball upfield and found Beth Yeager. She set up Grace Schulze, who netted the Tigers’ second equalizer in about five minutes.
Suddenly, a stalemate that saw fewer than five total shots had turned into a barn burner. And with the history between Maryland and Princeton, this wasn’t surprising — their previous three meetings went to overtime.
After the action calmed for much of the third quarter, the Tigers drew a penalty corner. Maryland coach Missy Meharg used her referral, but it was unsuccessful. And the Tigers scored on the play.
Yeager fed the ball to Bridget Murphy, who did the honors. She scored and pushed the Tigers ahead for the first time.
The Terps were commanding the ball in the middle of the fourth quarter for several minutes. Rayne Wright and Lawn both took shots that missed.
The Maryland sideline was getting more and more excited as the Terps were coming close to making something happen. And they did.
From the top of the circle, captain Brooke DeBerdine found some open space and rifled a shot. She made it.
With under five minutes left in the fourth quarter, the fifth-year senior’s first goal of the season couldn’t have come at a much better time. Maryland and Princeton were tied at three.
“I thought Brooke DeBerdine was an absolute professional today,” Meharg said. “She knew when to play slow and when to play fast and that was really what put us in position to win the game.”
In the final two minutes of regulation, Emma DeBerdine was assessed a yellow card, giving Princeton a one-woman advantage. The Tigers didn’t score in regulation, and for the fourth straight time, Maryland and Princeton went to overtime.
With the Emma DeBerdine penalty, the Terps only had five players on the pitch for the 7-on-7 overtime period. The shorthanded Terps plowed through the Tigers’ defense. Verleg sent the ball over to Donraadt, and Maryland appeared to score the game-winner.
The Terps celebrated — but their celebration was cut short. The officials quickly went to the press tent for a review, and the goal was waved off.
Right as Emma DeBerdine’s penalty expired, Donraadt stole the ball from Princeton. Emma DeBerdine checked back in and sprinted toward the ball, nearly coming up with it.
Back at even strength, Maryland drew a corner with under three minutes left.
Emma DeBerdine inserted the ball to Donnelly, who fired a shot, but missed. Verleg made the most of Donnelly’s missed shot and finished the game for the Terps, earning them their fourth straight overtime victory over Princeton.
“It was just so much fun,” Verleg said. “We all worked so hard for it.”