Despite trailing twice in first half, Maryland marches to semifinals
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Top-seeded Maryland advanced to its sixth consecutive national semifinal on Sunday with a 3-2 win against Princeton at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex.
ACC Offensive Player of the Year Jill Witmer scored twice, once to tie and once for the lead, to send Maryland (22-1) to its 17th overall semifinal and 16th under head coach Missy Meharg. The Tigers (14-5) led twice in the first half, until Witmer and the Terrapins took control just before the break.
“We’re exceedingly excited to move on,” Meharg said. “We’ve been talking about advancing and every single game, we’ve been talking about advancing our game. I’m very proud of the all of the women for finding a way to beat a very talented, very experienced, defending national champion Princeton team.”
Princeton struck first off of a penalty corner 90 seconds into the match. Sydney Kirby sent in the first goal of the afternoon on a deflection.
Maryland answered back off its first penalty corner less than four minutes later. Sophomore Anna Dessoye deflected in senior Ali McEvoy’s shot off the set play for the equalizer.
The teams battled through the rest of the period. With 33 seconds to go in the first half, Princeton’s Allison Evans sent in a high, hard shot from the right side of the circle for a 2-1 lead.
Less than 30 seconds later, Witmer dribbled into the Terps’ offensive circle herself and scored through multiple defenders to tie it with six seconds to go before halftime.
Just more than three minutes into the second half, sophomore Alyssa Parker fed Witmer for the Terps’ first lead of the day. Parker had a look herself, which was blocked by the Princeton keeper, then dished it to Witmer for a quick shot from the right post.
Maryland outshot Princeton 14-9, and each team had four penalty corners.
The Terrapins will play Duke (16-6) at 2 p.m. Friday in Norfolk, Va. in the NCAA semifinals.