Maryland had to make a decisive stop. Princeton had a penalty corner with 34 seconds left. The Tigers sent a ball to the top of the circle, where Sam Davidson stopped it. Behind her, Ottilie Sykes stepped up and smacked a shot to the bottom left corner of the cage — a decisive blow for a game-winning goal.
The Tigers beat the Terps, 3-2, in another tightly-contested chapter in a long-standing rivalry. The two teams have played five times since 2018, with each match going into overtime. The most recent edition saw Maryland lose, 4-3, in double overtime.
No. 5 Maryland (6-2) gave up its season high in goals Thursday at home and it started early.
“Our players would agree that we needed attention to more detail in our attack penalty corners and the set pieces, but a lot of great lessons today,” head coach Missy Meharg said. “Again, Princeton came in with an intent, they’ve been in three overtime games already.”
Princeton (2-3) defender Sam Davidson stepped up to take her stroke after a Maryland penalty. She stared down Terps goalie Paige Kieft with no score and quickly flicked the ball. Her shot landed in the top right corner as Kieft dove to the ground.
The early second-quarter score opened the gates for the Tigers’ next goal under two minutes later. Kieft saved a penalty corner only for Princeton to take advantage of the deflection and pop the ball back in the net. She made four saves in the first half.
Freshman Alyssa Klebasko entered the game for the second half and faced little to no action until the Tigers slipped the game-winner under her foot in the final seconds.
Despite the final score, Maryland got the better of play. It more than doubled up Princeton in shots — 23 to 11 — and forced Tigers’ goalie Robyn Thompson to make 10 saves.
“We did a better job in the second, third and fourth with not jumping into tackles which was a problem in the first and second quarter,” Meharg said. “I mean their first goal came off of a series of players just flubbing over the ball. So we’re going to be positive.”
The Terps’ first opportunities came close to scoring, but the shots swerved just wide or high of the goal. Maryland had six penalty corners and eleven shots in the second quarter, one it ended by trimming the two-goal deficit.
Hannah Boss ran down the left wing and slid the ball with a hard pass right to the center of the shooting circle. Maci Bradford, who’d already notched three shots, found the ball and completed the play by scoring in the last minute of the first half.
Bradford continued her strong play early into the third quarter, finding her way in the Tigers defensive end. Her shot on goal was saved but the freshman persisted, attacking the rebound and slamming the ball into the back of the net to tie the game up.
Bradford’s two goals Thursday give her four for the season.
Maryland travels to face Virginia Monday.