With about 11 minutes remaining in the Maryland field hockey team's 3-2 Big Ten tournament semifinals loss to Penn State on Friday, it appeared the Terps were headed for overtime. Defender Bodil Keus, just named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, executed off a penalty corner to tie the game.
But in the 67th minute, Nittany Lions midfielder Kate Dembrowski did the same. Maryland had fewer than four minutes to respond and secured one final corner attempt as time expired. Keus' last-ditch shot sailed wide.
Dembrowski's finish snapped Maryland's seven-game winning streak, which should still to be enough to land the Terps a spot in the NCAA tournament when the bracket is released Sunday. Now, all coach Missy Meharg's team can do is wait.
It's an unfamiliar position for the Terps, who have two days to wonder about their tournament fate. For the first time since joining the conference, Maryland will not play in the tournament title game.
"We definitely had the right attitude," midfielder Lein Holsboer said. "Overall, very disappointed, of course."
The Terps said after Sunday's quarterfinals win against Michigan State that they wanted to improve their counterattack. However, issues in transition plagued Maryland again Friday, Holsboer said.
Nittany Lions forward Moira Putsch capitalized in the eighth minute, when Terps goalkeeper Sarah Holliday was drawn toward the left-side of the net. Putsch's 20th score this season landed in the lower-right corner.
Nine minutes later, forward Sabrina Rhodes fielded the ball off a rebounded shot and tied the game. Still, the Nittany Lions boasted a 2-1 advantage at the intermission despite Maryland's 13-4 shooting advantage.
Maryland's attack continued to challenge Penn State's defense in the second half and earned a penalty corner in the 59th minute. Keus' line-drive strike fell in the lower-left corner to tie the game. But Maryland's momentum was short lived.
"Penn State is a really strong, very skillful team," defender Carrie Hanks said. "While we knew going in that it was going to be tough, we managed it relatively well and fought our way back into the game several times."
The Terps inability to take advantage of their 18 shots and four penalty corner attempts proved costly. Friday marked the first time since an Oct. 15 win against the Nittany Lions that the Terps failed to score at least three times.
Still, the Terps positioned themselves to tie the game after time expired, removing Holliday from the game to use an extra attacker.
But Keus was unable to connect on her final try.
Following its last close loss against Michigan, Maryland regrouped and didn't drop a game for more than a month. Now, they hope for the opportunity to do so again.
"We know that it's going to be a tough 48 hours waiting here," Hanks said. "But we've been building all season and we really want to have the chance to put our full 70 minutes of Maryland hockey together."