Nov. 5, 2010

Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

CARY, N.C. - Sophomore Danielle Hubka scored 55 seconds into overtime to give the No. 2 seed University of Maryland women's soccer team a 1-0 victory over No. 6 seed Boston College in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament Friday night at WakeMed Stadium.

The victory propels the Terps to their first appearance in the ACC Championship game since 1997. Maryland now has a 17-2-1 overall record, while Boston College falls to 13-6-1 on the year with the loss.

The Eagles started the match with tremendous energy and pressured Maryland relentlessly for the first six minutes of the match. The Terrapins' defense proved up to the challenge. Terp defenders blocked two BC shots during that stretch and junior center back Mallory Baker saved a goal with a team save in the sixth minute. Maryland keeper Yewande Balogun, who played a magnificent game in net, made one of her six saves during that time.

The Terps got on track offensively and nearly got on the board in the 14th minute. Senior Caitlin McDowell played a great ball into the box for junior Ashley Grove, who reached out with her right foot and redirected the ball toward the net. BC keeper Jill Mastroianni looked to be beaten, but she recovered in time and made a sliding save.

Maryland had the first good opportunity of the second half on a corner kick in the 49th minute. McDowell sent the ball in from the corner and junior Lydia Hastings got on the end of it with a header away from Mastroianni, but defender Amy Caldwell cleared the ball away before it crossed the goal line.

The two defenses stiffened as the game wore with neither wanting to make a mistake. Each team only mustered two shots apiece over the final 23 minutes of regulation.

But, that all changed in the first overtime.

Pensky made a few changes to his lineup from the end of regulation to the beginning of overtime. One of those was substituting Hubka for junior Ashley Grove to get some fresh legs at the forward spot, and that move paid of in a big way.

The play started innocently enough with the Eagles playing a ball down their left flank, looking to penetrate the Terrapins' back line. Junior Skyy Anderson collected the ball and immediately played it long over the top of the BC back line. Hubka, who had rested the final 21 minutes of the second half, split two Eagle defenders for a breakaway. She separated a bit from the defenders and showed great poise and confidence in settling the ball down a bit before ripping a shot toward the left side of the Eagle net. The ball had some spin on it and hit off the left post, but ricocheted inside the right post setting off Maryland's celebration.

"This was a terrific win tonight," said Maryland head coach Brian Pensky. "Another game, and result, that are emblematic of this team and our season. Boston College is very good, and we knew it would take another special effort to get a win. Sunday will be no different. Tony da Luz does a fabulous job with his Wake Forest team; they were amazing tonight against Carolina, so our task is tall for Sunday. But we're elated to have the opportunity."

Maryland advances to play No. 5 seed Wake Forest in the title match on Sunday at 2 p.m. at WakeMed Stadium at the WakeMed Soccer Park. The Demon Deacons advanced in the first semifinal via penalty kicks over No. 1 seed North Carolina.