Digest (Nov. 16): Donraadt's goal sends Terps to NCAA field hockey championship game

From Sun staff reports

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – After more than 77 minutes of scoreless play, Big Ten Freshman of the Year Bibi Donraadt split two defenders and scored to send No. 2 Maryland the NCAA championship game. The Terps (22-2) beat No. 3 Princeton, 1-0, in overtime in the NCAA semifinals on Friday.

Princeton, led by former Terps Carla Tagliente and Dina Rizzo, and Maryland were locked in a defensive battle through the entire match, until Donraadt broke through to move the Terps forward.

Maryland (22-2) will take on top-seeded North Carolina (21-0) on Sunday in the NCAA championship game at 1 p.m. at Louisville's Trager Stadium.

This is Maryland's second straight NCAA championship game appearance and 14th overall. The Terps have won eight NCAA titles, seven under Meharg, in 1987, 1993, 1999, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2011.

"I'm so proud, I'm overwhelmed by the tenacity of our defense," Terps coach Missy Meharg said. "I thought Princeton was so tactical. They came in layers. I couldn't be more proud of the coaching staff at Princeton. They are both Terps. This was a phenomenal game and I'm just so proud of this team for finding a way to move forward in the NCAA Tournament."

Maryland got its first penalty corner of the match in the final 2:00 of the period, but the shot was blocked off the play.

The Terps turned up the offensive pressure, taking three of their six shots in the second period. Princeton was awarded two penalty corners with under three minutes left in regulation, but the Terps' defense came up with two stops to force overtime.

In the 10-minute, seven-vs.-seven overtime period, the Terps got a penalty corner early, but did not convert. With 2:06 left in the golden goal extra time, Donraadt brought the ball into the circle, split two Princeton defenders and cracked a chip shot that went in just under the crossbar for the score.

Princeton took seven shots to Maryland's six and had nine penalty corners to the Terps' two. Goalkeeper Sarah Holliday picked up a save.

For tickets to the NCAA Semifinals and Final, click here. The Terps-Tar Heels game will be streamed around the world for free at NCAA.com.

Live stats will also be available. Fans can also follow the Terps' Twitter feed for live updates here. For the full NCAA bracket, click here.

This is Maryland's 24th straight NCAA tournament appearance — the longest active streak in the country. The Terps have made 30 NCAA tournament appearances and are 63-22 (.741) all-time in NCAA tournament games, which is the highest Tournament winning percentage in the nation. Meharg is 59-21 (.738) all-time in NCAA Tournament games, the best percentage among active Division I coaches.

This is the sixth time with Maryland and North Carolina meeting in the NCAA Championship game, with the Terps taking the 1993, 2010 and 2011 matchups.

The Terps are 13-6 all-time 8-1 in NCAA Semifinals and Finals in Louisville. The Terps won the 2005, 2008 and 2011 NCAA titles at Trager Stadium.

Meharg is in her 31st season as head coach of the Terps. She's led them to a record of 565-137-9 (.801), seven NCAA titles, 25 conference titles and 18 Final Fours. She has been named NFHCA National Coach of the Year an unprecedented nine times in her career.

Sophomore Hannah Bond won the Elite 90 Award at Thursday night's championship banquet. The Elite 90 Award is presented to the student-athlete with the highest GPA at the Final Four and recognizes her for reaching the pinnacle of academic and athletic success.

Varsity boys basketball: Mitch Fischer scored 25 of his career high 36 points in the first half and visiting Loyola Blakefield won 55-36 over Archbishop Curley in the season-opener for both teams.

Horse racing: Rising Sun Racing Stables' Colonel Sharp outran his rivals early and had plenty left to turn back a late bid from multiple graded-stakes winner Something Awesome for a front-running one-length victory in Friday's featured third race at Laurel Park . Ridden by J. D. Acosta for trainer Hugh McMahon, Colonel Sharp ($6) covered 7 furlongs in 1:22.63 over a main track rated good in the $55,000 open allowance for 3-year-olds and up.

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