No. 1 Maryland 2, No. 3 North Carolina 1 (OT)
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Maryland handed North Carolina its second consecutive loss on Saturday as the Terps (11-0, 3-0 ACC) battled back from a one-goal deficit with seven minutes to play to win in overtime.
Senior Jill Witmer, in her first game back after playing with the U.S. National Team in the Pan American Games, scored both of Maryland’s goals to lead them to the victory. She tipped in a long shot from Mieke Hayn to tie the game with a little more than seven minutes to play, then took the gamewinner all the way in herself with a backhanded shot in the 76th minute.
The matchup was a fierce defensive battle in the first half, as both teams were scoreless. North Carolina (8-2, 1-2) scored the first goal of the game in the 48th minute when Marta Malmberg put in a loose ball off a save on a penalty corner play.
With 9:22 to go and the Terps down by one, Meharg used her timeout. A little more than two minutes later, the adjustments worked and Maryland tied the game. Hayn sent in a shot from five yards out on the right side of the circle and Witmer got her stick on it to tie the game with 7:17 to play. Maryland controlled most of the last seven minutes for a chance to take the lead, but the teams went to overtime for the fifth time in 10 meetings since 2009
In overtime, North Carolina first had opportunities to win the game, but the Terrapin defense and Natalie Hunter in goal stepped up to hold the Tar Heels off. Less than three minutes into the overtime period, UNC’s Kristen Bernatchez was given a yellow card when she tripped Katie Gerzabek near midfield. The Terrapins were up a player for five minutes
In the 76th minute, Witmer took control of the ball and took it all the way in from outside the circle. She sent in backhanded shot for the win and her ninth goal of the year.
North Carolina outshot Maryland 9-6 and both teams had three penalty corner opportunities. Hunter picked up five saves on the day.
This is the first time since September 2008 that North Carolina has lost back-to-back games and first since 2006 since it has lost back-to-back games at home
No. 2 Connecticut 4, Providence 1
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Junior forward Chloe Hunnable posted the third hat trick of her career and sophomore midfielder Mckenzie Townsend scored her second goal of the season as Connecticut won at Providence 4-1 on Saturday afternoon. With the win, the Huskies remain unbeaten at 10-0 on the season and improve to 3-0 in the Big East. The Friars fall to 5-6 overall, 1-2 in the loop.
Hunnable has scored a team-high 11 goals this season and has accumulated 98 career points on 40 career goals. She is two points shy of becoming only the 16th Husky to tally at least 100 points. Teammate Marie Elena Bolles is right on her heels and needs only three points to reach 100 for her career.
The Huskies trailed for only the second time this season during this game, surrendering a goal to Daniella Bernasconi 15:43 into the contest off a rebound.
However, Hunnable restored parity at the 31:30 mark when she took a feed from Bolles and redirected it past Deidra Clymer and into the back of the net. The Huskies seized control less than a minute later when Townsend tipped a Hunnable strike from the top of the circle into the goal, giving UConn a lead it would not relinquish.
An unassisted goal by Hunnable at the 39:38 mark capped UConn’s third goal in only an 8:08 span as she controlled deflection from the PC keeper off a Chrissy Davidson shot and knocked it in. Hunnable’s 11th goal of the season came at 48:36 after sophomore midfielder Sophie Bowden struck the ball toward the goal from the top of the circle and Hunnable tipped it in.
No. 5 Syracuse 4, No. 4 Virginia 1
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Leonie Geyer recorded a hat trick, going 3-for-3 on penalty strokes, to lead Syracuse (9-1, 1-1 ACC) to a 4-1 victory versus Virginia (12-2, 1-2 ACC), running the Orange's home-winning streak to 40 games at J.S. Coyne Stadium on Saturday.
It was the second hat trick of Geyer's career, as she scored four goals in a 12-0 win versus Vermont on Oct. 16, 2011. It is the Orange's second three-goal game of the season. Lauren Brooks, who netted the Syracuse's fourth goal on Saturday, scored three against Kent State on Sept. 8.
In Syracuse's first home ACC game, it recorded its first victory in its new conference as it took control from the outset with a dominating first half, outshooting the Cavaliers 11-4 and taking a 2-0 lead after 35 minutes of play.
Syracuse's 40-game home winning streak, which dates back to 2009, has seen the Orange outscore its opponents 166-31.
Geyer started the scoring 5:57 into the game when she beat Virginia goalkeeper Jenny Johnstone on the first penalty stroke. She struck again in the 18th minute on a penalty stroke that glanced off the stick of Johnstone and in, making it 2-0.
Just 2:05 into the second half, Brooks redirected a nifty crossing pass from Emma Russell inside the right post to give the Orange a 3-0 lead. It was her eighth goal of the season, while Russell picked up her seventh assist of the year, tying her with Geyer for the team lead.
The Orange lead reached 4-0 in the 53rd minute when Geyer once again converted on a penalty stroke that was awarded when Karlee Farr was upended in the circle by Johnstone. The goal gave Geyer nine on the season, tops on the team.
The Cavaliers got on the board with 9:38 remaining when Hadley Bell knocked in the rebound of a shot on a penalty corner.
No. 8 Penn State 2, No. 10 Northwestern 0
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State recorded its fifth shutout of the season in a 2-0 victory against Northwestern on Saturday afternoon. The win extends the Nittany Lions' winning streak to seven matches and keeps their perfect Big Ten record intact at 2-0.
PSU did all of its offensive damage in the first 30 minutes of the contest. Brittany Grzywacz and Amanda Dinunzio each scored a goal, while the defense had another great showing to secure the 2-0 win.
Northwestern generated the first scoring opportunity of the afternoon, firing a shot off the first penalty corner of the match but the Penn State defense was up to the challenge did not allow an early score . The Wildcats enjoyed much of the possession in the opening minutes but Penn State quickly settled into the contest.
On the Nittany Lions' third penalty corner of the match, PSU earned a penalty stroke off a Whitney Reddig shot. Grzywacz stepped up to the spot and laced a shot into the bottom left of the cage to give the Lions a 1-0 lead in the 17th minute. The goal was her seventh of the season, tying her with Taylor Herold and Ashtin Klingler for the team lead.
Just 10 minutes later Penn State doubled its lead off a run and strike from Dinunzio. She picked up the ball just within Northwestern's half and darted into the right side of the circle and unleashed an off-balance blast into the left side of the cage in the 27th minute. The goal was first of her Penn State career.