Sophomore Kirby leads No. 4 Princeton to win against Maryland
PRINCETON, N.J. -- In a battle of wills, it was No. 4 Princeton that found a 3-2 victory against a gritty No. 5 Maryland squad on Tuesday at Bedford Field. In the 50th minute, sophomore Sydney Kirby followed through on a deflected shot to send in the game-winner and improve the Tigers to 9-1 for the season.
Princeton was able to possess the ball for much of the first period. At 7:21, Michelle Cesan maneuvered the ball through several defenders from the top of the circle to the left side of the cage and fired in the opening goal to make it a 1-0 game in favor of Princeton.
The Tigers held a firm backline until the 22nd minute when Maryland's Megan Frazer was able to penetrate the circle and send in a shot. Princeton goalie Christina Maida was there to make the save, but was unable to gain control of the ball. UM's Alyssa Parker was there to follow through on the deflection to even the score 1-1.
After evening the score, the Terps swung the momentum to their side and attempted three consecutive shots before scoring at 29:47. Katie Gerzabek picked up the loose ball outside the circle and shot it in from the left side to make it a 2-1 game.
Halftime proved beneficial for the Tigers. Despite being down by a goal, Princeton remained focused and tightened up its play on all ends of the field. On a series of three consecutive penalty corners in 40-seconds, Julia Reinprecht fed the ball to Katie Reinprecht, who made a stop for striker Kathleen Sharkey. Sharkey had a touch and sailed in her 20th goal of the year to tie things up 2-2.
Sharkey nearly sent in a game-winner at 49:15, but the ball went just wide.
At 49:41, Allison Evans found an opening in the circle, but her shot was saved by Terp keeper Natalie Hunter. Kirby was there to pick up the loose ball and send in a goal three seconds later.
"I think we played pretty disciplined in the second half, which I was really happy with, and kept attacking the game," head coach Kristen Holmes-Winn said. "It can be hard chasing sometimes because your lines can get stretched apart, but I thought we supported the play really well."
Maryland continued to put pressure on the Tiger backline, working to even the score. In the 57th minute a Harriet Tibble shot was heading into the cage if before a clutch defensive save from Princeton freshman Teresa Benvenuti.
Princeton was able to deflect Maryland's ensuing offensive opportunities to earn its second win against a top-five opponent.
The match was evenly matched across the board, with Princeton holding the shot differential 12-11, but the Terps landed nine to the Tigers' seven on goal. Maryland held a slight advantage in penalty corners, 6-5.
Maida recorded six of Princeton's seven saves in the match.