For the first time since 2005, the Duke field hockey team is headed to the NCAA title game to try and capture the program’s first ever title. The Blue Devils finally took down top seeded Maryland, 3-2 on Friday afternoon. It was the third time this season the two teams have faced each other and the Terps fell to 22-2 on the season.
You can watch the championship game from Old Dominion at 4:45pm ET on Sunday live at NCAA.com. Duke will face off against UConn, the only non-ACC team to reach the Final Four. UConn beat North Carolina in a shootout.
Jessica Buttinger put Duke on the board in the first three minutes of the match on a pass from Emmie Le Marchand. It was Buttinger‘s eighth goal of the season. The Terps would even the match back up a few minutes later on a penalty corner.
Duke would retake the lead midway through the first half on a penalty corner of their own, as Paula Heimbach redirected a hit by Brenna Rescigno for her first goal of the season. Le Marchand put the Blue Devils ahead 3-1 in the 28th minute by scoring off her own rebound. It was her fifth goal of the NCAA Tournament.
Maryland would once again score quickly to only trail by one goal headed to halftime. The score was 3-2 at the half and the Blue Devils held Maryland scoreless over the game’s final 41 minutes. The Terps however had six shots over the first 12 minutes of the second half, but the Duke defense held up over the bevy of offensive attacks from Maryland.
Duke goalie Lauren Blazing had 12 saves, eight in the second half. The Terps won the shot battle, 19-10.
*You can watch the complete replay of today’s game by clicking HERE.
**Duke has been to three title games prior to this season and they came in three straight seasons: 2003, 2004, and 2005.