No. 4 Virginia defeated No. 3 Maryland 1-0 in overtime Sunday afternoon at Turf Field in Charlottesville, advancing to the NCAA semifinals. The Cavaliers (18-4, 4-2 ACC) had numerous offensive chances, but the Terrapins (17-4, 7-1 Big Ten) stood strong until overtime, where the Cavaliers eventually emerged victorious.
Maryland controlled the game in the first quarter — a recurring trend for the Terrapins this season, holding the Cavaliers’ high-powered offense to just one shot while registering four shots. However, both defenses played well enough to keep the game knotted at 0-0.
Virginia bounced back in the second quarter to stifle the Terrapins’ attack, holding them to zero shots. However, Maryland played terrific defense in response, and neither team was able to crack the opposing teams’ lines.
Coach Michele Madison’s halftime adjustments appeared to rejuvenate the struggling Cavalier attack, as the team ripped 12 shots on goal in the second half, seven of which in the fourth quarter. As Virginia looked to break the game open with a goal, the Cavaliers had the Maryland defense on their heels.
Virginia’s potent attack prevented Maryland from gaining any true momentum in the second half, as the Terrapins would only be able to muster two shots in 30 minutes.
Offensively, Virginia had plenty of good looks at the goal, but could not capitalize. Out of the Cavaliers’ seven shots on goal in the fourth, six were on goal, but Terrapin senior goalkeeper Noelle Frost held her own to preserve the shutout in regulation.
In the overtime period, Virginia continued its dominance on offense, stringing together precise passes as it looked to find a hole in the Maryland defense.
Finally, just over five minutes into overtime, sophomore midfielder Annie McDonough delivered what would be the dagger to Maryland’s championship hopes. McDonough deflected a pass by junior midfielder Rachel Robinson past Frost for her third goal of the season — sending the Cavaliers to their first NCAA semifinals since 2010.
Virginia’s win over the Terrapins avenges a September loss in College Park, Md., where Maryland downed the Cavaliers in shootout fashion. Nevertheless, Virginia responded when the stakes were higher and now finds itself on the cusp of its first field hockey national title.
The road to a championship will not be easy, however, as Virginia meets No. 9 Princeton in Winston-Salem, N.C., Friday afternoon. Last year, the Tigers handed the Cavaliers a first round exit in the 2018 NCAA Tournament and will be a tough test for a surging Virginia squad. Match start is set for 3:45 p.m.