Maryland and Princeton have a knack for playing each other to overtime.
The Terps’ and Tigers’ three previous matchups dating back to 2018 all needed extra time to decide a winner. Thanks to a Beth Yeager score with less than two minutes left in the fourth quarter to even the game at three, this year’s battle needed more time, too.
The second overtime period was vastly different from the first, which didn’t have a goal scored in the 10 minute session. The Tigers gained a penalty corner less than a minute into the period and Yeager sent the ball into the net for the game-winner.
Her second goal of the game handed No. 3 Maryland its first loss of the season, as No. 7 Princeton escaped with a 4-3 win in New Jersey Tuesday.
“When you go up three times and you let down just a little bit, a good team is going to take advantage,” coach Missy Meharg said. “Beth Yeager is the No. 1 drag flicker in this country, plays for the national team, studies drag flicking all over the world. She’s very deceptive.”
The seventh-ranked Tigers represented the Terps’ strongest test of the season. Princeton, who played its third game in five days, entered the contest coming off a tight 2-1 overtime loss to No. 1 Northwestern.
The Tigers’ daunting slate also includes one-point losses to North Carolina and Louisville, the second and fourth-ranked squads respectively. They’ve now faced the entire top four of the latest NFHCA poll in just seven games after their match with Maryland.
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Maryland got on the board first late into the first half after a scoreless first quarter. Danielle van Rootselaar collected the insertion on a penalty corner and faked a shot.
She passed to her left to an unguarded Hope Rose who fired a shot at the goal. The ball grazed Belle Bressler and found the net to give Bressler a goal, Rose an assist and the Terps a 1-0 lead.
“Maryland could have opened the doors up in the game in the first quarter,” Meharg said. “I thought we were so dominant, we had so many scoring opportunities.”
The advantage lasted through halftime, but not much longer out of the break. Princeton’s Hannah Davey sent the ball below a diving Paige Kieft — who made her third consecutive start at goalie — to knot the score again.
Bibi Donraadt raced down the left sideline with possession in the minutes following the equalizing goal.
Needing to recapture the lead Maryland held, Donraadt slapped a pass from the sideline and through the shooting circle to Margot Lawn, the only Terp in the area.
Lawn, with a defender draped over her back, reached her stick to her side and angled it so the ball would strike the correct side and deflect the pass into the net. Her tally gave Maryland another lead just minutes after losing its first one.
Ten scoreless minutes followed the back-to-back goals but with under two minutes remaining in the third quarter, Princeton again evened the score.
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A shot rattled around the Maryland circle, bouncing off several Terps on its way into the net. It first deflected off Rayne Wright and into Kieft before the goalie punched the ball away from her but directly to Princeton’s Ali McCarthy, who tapped it into the back of an open net.
After having a score taken from her on a scoring change earlier in the game, Rose sought her eighth goal in as many games as she held possession midway through the final quarter. She darted through the circle while weaving through defenders looking to poke the ball away.
Rose moved to her left, her non-dominant side, and smacked a shot toward the goal. It slammed off the goal’s right side, making a loud clank before bouncing into the net and becoming what could have been the game-winner.
Maryland held Yeager, Princeton’s leading goal scorer, without a score for 58 minutes, but the sophomore midfielder eventually broke through with her late-game penalty corner goal that forced overtime.
“We were prepared for the overtime today,” Meharg said. “We played it in practice, we’ve gone through it as a coaching staff.”
Maryland and Princeton shot an equal amount of times in the two overtime periods, but the Terps took just one penalty corner to the Tigers’ three. The lone opportunity, one of Maryland’s best scoring chances of the extra time, was shut down.
“We had an attack penalty corner and probably, maybe a different option could have been called as well,” Meharg said. “That’s on me.”
Their inability to contain Yeager in overtime cost them, resulting in the Terps’ first loss of the year.
“Nothing we could really do to stop that,” Emma DeBerdine said. “It’s really just going to go in either way.”