Terps stun UNC with late rally to win national title in field hockey

November 20, 2011|From Sun staff reports

The fourth-ranked Maryland field hockey team came back from a two-goal deficit with less than four minutes left in regulation to top No. 1 North Carolina, 3-2, in overtime for its eighth national title Sunday in Louisville, Ky.

In the 81st minute, sophomore Jill Witmer streaked down the sideline, crossed to the other side of the circle and took a hard shot that flew into the net behind North Carolina goalkeeper Sassi Ammer. With Maryland's goalie pulled for an extra attacker, freshman Katie Gerzabek had scored the first Terrapins goal in the 67th minute. Senior Jemma Buckley ripped in the equalizer as regulation time expired, and Witmer's goal gave the Terps their fifth NCAA crown in seven years (2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011).

Since the NCAA began seeding the top four teams in the tournament in 2002, the Terps (19-4) are the first unseeded team to win a title. They beat the top three teams (Syracuse, Old Dominion, North Carolina) in order on their way to their repeat crown.

The Tar Heels took a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute and added their second goal with 7:57 left in the game.

Buckley, Witmer, Megan Frazer and Harriet Tibble were named to the NCAA All-Tournament team.

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