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Princeton Athletics | September 20, 2022

No. 7 Princeton field hockey hands No. 3 Maryland its first loss of the year

Northwestern defeats Liberty 2-0 in the DI field hockey championship

What the Princeton field hockey team did on Bedford Field Tuesday afternoon was not easy. Not by a long shot.
 
The Tigers were only two days removed from an overtime loss to the No. 1 team in the country, Northwestern, and playing their third game in five days. The opponent this time was the No. 3 team in the country, Maryland, another unbeaten rival.
 
Three times the Tigers fell behind. Three times they rallied to tie it, eventually forcing overtime. And then another one. Tired? Worn? Emotionally drained? It didn't matter. Less than a minute into the second overtime, Princeton got a win it really, really earned, knocking off Maryland 4-3.
 
The tying goal came with 1:55 to go in regulation. The game-winner came 47 seconds into the second overtime. Both came from Beth Yeager, a first-team All-American a year ago as a freshman who came up huge once again.
 


Princeton has run through a gauntlet of a schedule so far, with one-goal losses to No. 1 Northwestern, No. 2 North Carolina and No. 4 Louisville. The Tigers had been so close against each; they broke through against the Terps.
 
Princeton is now 4-3 heading into Friday's Ivy opener against Penn at home (4). Maryland fell to 7-1.
 
Robyn Thompson had another great game in goal, with eight more saves.
 
It would have been a shock had the game not been close. This was the eighth straight game between the two that has been decided by a single goal.

RANKINGS: Northwestern, North Carolina lead latest poll 

 
It shouldn't have been shocking that the game went into overtime either, since this is now five straight Princeton-Maryland games that have. On the other hand, as Maryland nursed a 3-2 lead late in the fourth, it seemed like that streak was going to end.
 
Maryland scored the only goal of the first half, but Hannah Davey tied it 2:13 into the second half with a low drive, assisted by Ophelie Bemelmans. It took Maryland less than two minutes to go back on top, but Princeton tied it when Ali McCarthy finished off a play started by Claire Donovan, who forced a turnover and got the ball into the circle. After the ball was deflected off Maryland goalie Paige Kieft, McCarthy slapped it in, making it 2-2 late in the third.
 
Hope Rose put Maryland back on top for the third time with a blast in front midway through the fourth. For awhile, it looked like it would be the game-winner. Would it be? Nope.

EXPLAINED: How the rules of college field hockey work 
 

With 2:06 to go, Princeton drew a corner. And then another. On the second, Sammy Popper took the ball right and fed it back to Yeager, who had time and room and ripped it into the cage. Tie game.
 
The game-winner came of another corner. This time, Ali McCarthy inserted, Ophelie Bemelmans stopped it and Yeager fired one low into the corner of the cage to end it. With all of the effort and emotion that went into it, Princeton managed to find the energy to celebrate.
 
This one was definitely worth that effort.
 

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