AMHERST, Mass. - Duke gave Maryland another bad memory last night in a semifinal of the NCAA field hockey championships.
The Blue Devils defeated the Terps, 4-2, and advanced to tomorrow's championship game against Wake Forest. The defending national champions edged Michigan, 1-0, in the other semifinal.
"We're obviously very disappointed," Maryland coach Missy Meharg said. "The game was very similar to the first time we played them [a 3-1 Duke victory which the Blue Devils led 2-0 at halftime and which ended with the Terps managing only four penalty corners]. We got ourselves down a couple goals and came back with a lot of energy too late.
"Duke has tremendous athletes and certainly their team speed was a problem for us from the get-go. It was something we've worked hard on in preparation, but we didn't have our best performance in the opening 12 to 17 minutes."
Maryland spotted Duke (20-3) an early lead and wasn't able to handle the Blue Devils' speed - until it was too late. The Terps fell behind 2-0 in the first 2:35 before rallying behind Colleen Barbieri (two goals) in the second half. But Barbieri's second goal, which sliced Maryland's deficit to 4-2, came with 5:07 left in regulation and the Terps (20-4) never came close to another score.
Meharg tried to rally the Terps during a subsequent timeout.
"We bumped it up ... we played more of a 3-4-3," she said. "We talked about securing the ball on restarts. And we talked about energy.
"We had to make a lot of substitutions because we had individuals who were waiting to see what would happen instead of being the proactive ones and making sure it would happen. I'd like to remember the energy in the second half. But, again, it's amazing how it was the same game we played on October 11."
Katie Grant took a penalty corner from the left of the cage, then Johanna Bischof faked a shot and passed to Gracie Sorbello who drilled a shot past Tori Cano at the 1:39 mark.
Grant scored an unassisted goal at 2:35, then the Blue Devils' speed hurt the Terps as Chrissie Murphy finished off a fast break at 15:23.
Barbieri got one goal back at 20:51 of the second half. She carried the ball 30 yards and then fired a shot past Christy Morgan from inside the circle.
Goals: M-Barbieri 2; D-Sorbello, Grant, Murphy, Van Kirk. Assists: M-McQuillan; D-Bischof 2, Linton. Saves: M-Cano 5; D-Morgan 5. Half: D, 3-0.