For the fifth time in the history of the two programs, No. 7 Princeton (4–3 overall, 0–0 Ivy) took the No. 3 Maryland Terrapins (7–1, 1–0 Big Ten) to an intense overtime battle.
“It isn’t every day that you get to play at home against such a talented opponent,” sophomore midfielder Beth Yeager told The Daily Princetonian. “While they were ranked above us, we knew that we could compete against them and win if we played our game.”
And just as Yeager thought, the Tigers were able to pull off a victory in the second overtime, sending the Terrapins home with a loss, 4–3.
Coming off a tough overtime loss to No. 1 Northwestern (8–0, 0–0 Big Ten) on Sunday, Princeton took the field with composure and confidence. The Tigers got off to a strong start, putting pressure on the Terps and causing multiple turnovers. Three minutes into the game, Maryland drew a corner shot and sent in a strong shot, narrowly missing the goal, but the Tigers held steady. At one point, senior forward Ali McCarthy was quick to intercept a strong pass from Maryland midfielders, driving the Tigers into the offensive zone.
It took both the Tigers and the Terps a few minutes to settle into their rhythm, but each team was quick to recover and showed strong communication. At the end of the first period, both teams were holding strong on defense, leaving the score at 0–0.
The strength of junior goalie Robyn Thompson was clear. She made multiple impressive saves in the first half, with Maryland outshooting Princeton in the first period 5–1. By the end of the half, however, the Terps had impressive offensive momentum and caused a corner resulting in the first goal of the game.
At the beginning of the second half, the Tigers were determined to apply pressure on Maryland’s defense. Within the first three minutes, senior defender Hannah Davey found the back of the net after a corner, evening the score at 1–1. But Maryland was quick to fight back, and a goal less than two minutes later gave them the 2–1 lead.
Strong defensive pressure from senior defender Gabby Andretta made it difficult for the Terps to find an opening to extend their lead. With two minutes left in the third period, senior forward Claire Donovan sent a strong pass into the crease, and McCarthy was able to connect and drive it past the Maryland goalie, tying the game 2–2 going into the final quarter.
“Our team does a really good job of staying positive and lifting each other up,” McCarthy wrote to the ‘Prince.’ “Even though we were down a goal going into the second half, we were all positive and encouraging to one another.”
For the first few minutes of play in the fourth period, strong defense from determined players meant the Tigers and the Terps struggled to find a breakthrough. Halfway through the frame, however, Maryland forward Hope Rose was able to send the ball to the back of the net off of a corner.
Tigers fans were nervous as precious seconds ticked away. However, Princeton did not let anything go and continued to drive up the field to the Terps’ goal multiple times. With only two minutes left, junior forward Grace Schulze drew a corner, giving the Tigers a chance to score. With a pass from senior forward Sammy Popper, Yeager sent a rocket high into the net, forcing the game into overtime tied at 3–3.
“The match was far from easy, but after halftime we really came together and picked each other up,” Yeager wrote. “We won because of the positive and determined attitude everyone had and because of the faith we have in each other.”
The first period of overtime was full of outstanding saves and high intensity play from both sides. Both teams continued to drive up the field. Despite their efforts, both teams found themselves at the end of the ten minutes without a goal, sending the teams into their second overtime period.
This one, however, did not last long. Within the first minute, Princeton drew a penalty corner. Yeager finished the game with a strong rip from just inside the crease, making her the first player this season with multiple goals in a game. It was a rewarding win for the Tigers, who have been fighting tough opponents and going to overtime in many of their recent games.
Sending the Terps home with their first defeat of the season is sure to raise the Tigers’ ranking. Princeton now looks to the home Ivy League opener against Penn this Friday, Sept. 23 at Bedford Field.
“None of our games have been easy and not all have been successes, but we have improved in each of them. Penn is a great opponent and another great opportunity for us to play our game and compete against each other,” Yeager said.
Evelyn Walsh is a contributor to the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’ She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter or Instagram @evelynwalshh.