Nov. 10, 2012
STORRS, Conn. - The defending national champions were exactly that on Saturday afternoon in Storrs, Conn., as No. 6 Maryland stymied No. 13 Lafayette and put in two scores to move into the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 2-0 victory.
The Terps will take on the host UConn on Sunday at 2 p.m. for a chance at a Final Four appearance.
Maryland's defense was outstanding all afternoon as Lafayette did not get a shot on goal until the second half and was without a corner the entire game. Holding the Terps to just two scores was due in large part to the play of sophomore goalkeeper Jessica Deutsch. Deutsch made eight saves on the afternoon and came up big in key moments to keep the Leopards in the contest.
Just over three minutes into the game, Maryland's Anna Dessoye was able to take it herself on a two-on-one and send a backhanded shot past Deutsch to open the scoring. Deutsch bounced back, though, making a save on the next corner and getting some help from sophomore defender Brittany Blass with the defensive save on the third corner for the Terps early.
Throughout the rest of the first half, both defenses played strong and limited scoring opportunities. Maryland controlled the midfield play, but the Leopard defensive unit did not allow another goal as Lafayette trailed 1-0 at the break.
Lafayette began the second much the way they played in the first. Solid defense kept the Terps off the scoreboard, but Maryland kept the majority of the possession and rarely allowed the Leopards into its defensive half. Maryland continued to attack, getting multiple shots on goal. Deutsch continued her outstanding play, stopping shot after shot and keeping Lafayette alive.
With just under 14 minutes to play, Lafayette got its best scoring opportunity. Sophomore Kelsey Mead raced down the sideline and made a hard drive for the middle, feeding it to junior Haley Keenan at the top of the circle. Keenan shot across the goal and Deanna DiCroce just missed on the deflection into what seemed to have been a wide open weak side of the net.
With 10:15 remaining on the clock, Maryland's Jill Witmer took a rebound that trickled past Deutsch and sent it into the back of the net to give the Terps the two-goal advantage.
Lafayette continued to fight as Keenan made a drive to the net with just over three minutes left in the game. Her shot was kick-saved by Maryland's Natalie Hunter to keep the Leopards off the scoreboard. That proved to be the final chance as Maryland held possession and ran out the clock with the final at 2-0.
The Leopards finished the season with an overall record of 17-3, their only losses to top-10 opponents in Penn State, Princeton and Maryland. Lafayette won the Patriot League Championship for the second consecutive year and advanced to the NCAA Tournament on the only at-large bid for a Patriot League school in League history.
From Lafayette Athletic Communications