No. 4 Field Hockey Outlasts No. 5 Maryland, 3-2
In a battle of wills, it was the No. 4 Princeton field hockey team that came out on top versus a gritty No. 5 Maryland squad, 3-2, Tuesday at Bedford Field. In the 50th minute, sophomore Sydney Kirby followed through on a deflected shot to send in the game-winner and improve the Tigers to 9-1, 3-0 Ivy on the year.
The first half saw Princeton take control nearly immediately, as the Tigers were able to possess the ball for much of the period. At 7:21, Michelle Cesan cleverly maneuvered the ball through several defenders from the top of the circle to the left side of the cage and fired in the opening goal to make it a 1-0 game in favor of Princeton.
The Tigers would hold a firm backline until the 22nd minute when Maryland's Megan Frazer was able to penetrate the circle and send in a shot. Princeton goalie Christina Maida was there to make the save, but was unable to gain control of the ball and UM's Alyssa Parker was there to follow through on the deflection to even the score, 1-1.
After evening the score, the Terps swung the momentum to their side and peppered in three consecutive shots before landing the go-ahead goal at 29:47. Katie Gerzabek picked up the loose ball outside the circle and shot it in from the left side to make it a 2-1 game.
Halftime proved extremely beneficial for the Tigers. Despite being down by a goal to a talented adversary, Princeton remained focused and tightened up its play on all ends of the field. On a series of three consecutive penalty corners over a 40-second span, Julia Reinprecht fed the ball to sister Katie Reinprecht, who made a perfect stop on the ball for striker Kathleen Sharkey. Sharkey had a touch and sailed in her 20th goal of the year to tie things up 2-2 at 43:09.
Sharkey would nearly send in a potential game-winner at 49:15, but the ball went just wide.
The Tigers would not have to wait much longer to seal the victory.
At 49:41, Allison Evans found an opening in the circle, but her shot would be saved and deflected by Terp keeper Natalie Hunter. Kirby would be there to pick up the loose ball and send in the golden goal three seconds later.
Kirby has now scored in consecutive games after missing the previous five matches due to duties with the U.S. Junior National Team.
"I think we played pretty disciplined in the second half, which I was really happy with, and kept attacking the game," said head coach Kristen Holmes-Winn. "It can be hard chasing sometimes because your lines can get stretched apart, but I thought we supported the play really well."
Maryland continued to put pressure on the Tiger backline, working to even the game again. In the 57th minute a Harriet Tibble shot was heading into the cage if it had not been for a clutch defensive save from Princeton freshman Teresa Benvenuti.
From that point forward Princeton was able to deflect Maryland's ensuing offensive opportunities to earn its second win over a top-five opponent.
The match was very even across the board, with Princeton holding the shot differential, 12-11, but the Terps landed nine to the Tigers' seven on goal. Maryland held a slight advantage in penalty corners, 6-5.
Maida recorded six of Princeton's seven saves in the match.
The Tigers remain at home next, hosting American on Sunday, Oct. 7 at 1 p.m.