Terps Fall in Field Hockey’s NCAA Final
Undefeated North Carolina Stops Maryland's Quest for Eighth Title Under Meharg
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The second-seeded Maryland field hockey team lost to No. 1 North Carolina, 2-0, in the NCAA championship game yesterday at Louisville’s Trager Stadium.
The Terrapins (22-3) controlled much of the second half, outshooting the Tar Heels 9–3 in the period and 9–8 overall.
“I couldn't be more proud of our team,” head coach Missy Meharg said. “North Carolina has had an incredible season. To out-shoot and out-corner them is a great testament to Maryland. I couldn't be more proud of our performance. I think in sport, sometimes you look back and wish you had the second half before the first half. We learned some things in the first half and made great adjustments in the second half.”
North Carolina (23–0) took the early lead when Megan DuVernois tipped in a shot from Meredith Sholder in the 21st minute of play.
Ten minutes later, the Tar Heels pushed their lead to 2–0 when Erin Matson scored off a rebounded shot in the 31st minute. North Carolina took its 2–0 lead into halftime.
Maryland turned up the offensive pressure coming out of the break, picking up four penalty corners in the opening minutes.
With 22:29 to play, the Tar Heels were awarded a penalty stroke. Junior goalkeeper Noelle Frost came in to face the stroke, which she saved off the right post.
Maryland outshot North Carolina, 9–8, in the second half. Senior goalkeeper Sarah Holliday made two saves.
This marked Maryland’s 24th straight NCAA tournament appearance—the longest active streak in the country. The Terps have made 30 NCAA tournament appearances and are 63–23 (.736) all-time in NCAA tournament games, which is the highest tournament winning percentage in the nation. Meharg is 59-22 (.728) all-time in NCAA tournament games, the best percentage among active Division I coaches.
This also marked Maryland’s second straight NCAA championship game appearance and 13th overall. The Terrapins have won eight NCAA titles, seven of them under Meharg.
Now in her 31st season as head coach of the Terrapins, she has led them to a record of 565–138–9 (.800), seven NCAA titles, 25 conference titles and 18 Final Fours. She has been named NFHCA National Coach of the Year an unprecedented nine times.
Seniors Holliday, Julie Duncan, Linnea Gonzales, Olivia Reiter, Sabrina Rhodes and Melissa Wilken earned a record of 75–19, won five Big Ten regular season and tournament titles, earned an NCAA tournament berth every season and advanced to two NCAA title games.
Sophomore Hannah Bond won the Elite 90 Award at Thursday night’s NCAA field hockey championship banquet. The 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.