Nov. 21, 2010

Notebook: Terps Beat UNC In O'Donnell's Final Match

By Jeff Seidel
Special to NCAA.com

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -
Katie ODonnell didnt get a point in her final game with Maryland, but she still caused plenty of trouble for the opposition.

ODonnell took three of Marylands 12 shots on goal, and intercepted a pass late in the second overtime and set up Megan Frazers goal, which gave the top-ranked Terrapins a 3-2 victory over No. 2 North Carolina in the NCAA Division I field hockey national championship game on Sunday

After ODonnell made the play, she was able to flick the ball over to Frazer, who then blasted a shot just inside the far post with two minutes, 10 seconds to play in the second period of sudden-death overtime at Marylands Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex.

Maryland now has won four of the last six NCAA titles. ODonnell helped the team win twice during her four-year stint. She also finished with 99 career goals after getting three in Fridays 3-1 victory over Ohio State in one of the semifinals.

ODonnell was named the Mid-Atlantic Regions Player of the Year for the second consecutive season and became the only ACC player to win the conferences Offensive Player of the Year four times.

Ive had an amazing four years here,” ODonnell said. I couldnt have asked for a better four years and, let alone, a better senior year. I think the team we have here is the best meshing team Ive ever played on.”

DEFENSE VS. OFFENSE: North Carolina coach Karen Shelton said her team wanted to slow ODonnell, and the Tar Heel defense did a good job of making Marylands offense work for much of the game.

We knew we had some depth and some balance, but we felt like the key was to control Katie ODonnell,” Shelton said. You cant necessarily stop her, but you can control her, and I think we did succeed at that.”

Meghan Dawson did a good job of defending ODonnell - they also held her without a point in last years title game, a 3-2 Tar Heel victory - and the whole North Carolina defense stayed patient while Maryland applied pressure.

It was a classic battle between our defense and their offense,” Shelton said. Usually defense wins championships, but just not today.”

OVERTIME DOMINATION: One of the keys to the overtime was how Maryland kept increasing pressure on North Carolina.

The Terrapins got only two shots in the first half but began to control the game more as time went on. The way that the Terrapins kept constantly pushing the ball back into the North Carolina end throughout each of the two 15-minute overtimes eventually made the difference. Maryland also got four penalty corners during overtime, and the Tar Heels couldnt get any.

We kept trying to get it out, and it kept coming back at us,” said North Carolina goalie Jackie Kintzer. I just tried to stay strong and keep the ball out.”

Kintzer made five of her nine saves in the overtime, repeatedly keeping the Tar Heels alive.