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Published 10/28/2012
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Soccer Falls to No. 9 Maryland in Overtime

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- After battling back from a 1-0 first-half deficit, the Miami Hurricanes fell 2-1 in the overtime period of their opening Atlantic Coast Conference Championship match-up at Maryland's Ludwig Field.

In an evenly-paced contest with the ninth-ranked Terrapins, the Hurricanes used a 74th-minute goal from junior Tara Scwhitter to tie the game up at 1-1. But Terps' senior Danielle Hubka converted a pass from Cory Ryan just five minutes into the extra frame to send the home side into the second round.

Miami's first appearance in the ACC Championship since 2008 was an impressive one for head coach Tom Anagnost, whose side took a well-earned decision over No. 1 Florida State in its regular season finale to clinch a spot in the eight-team tournament. Less than two weeks after defeating then-No. 7 Maryland 1-0 in overtime on the same Ludwig Field pitch, Miami nearly fought its way into the second round of the tournament against the veteran Terrapins squad.

"I want to give credit to Maryland for being very opportunistic today and getting the result," Anagnost said. "Both of their goals came off deficient final touches from our defenders."

The Hurricanes fell behind in the middle of the first half on a 35th-minute goal from Terps' junior Alex Reed. The goal snapped the Hurricanes' defensive scoreless streak of 482 minutes dating back to Oct. 11 match-up with Virginia.

Miami's Ally Andreini came back at the Terps with a shot of her own saved by Rachelle Beanlands less than two minutes later. The Hurricanes would continue to threaten in the early stages of the second half, including a header from Erin McGovern high in the 48th minute and a chance from sophomore forward Ashley Flinn shot wide in the 59th.

"I'm happy with the chances we generated," Anagnost added. "We needed to make a play and put another one in. Those, to me, are the differences in the game."

Schwitter, coming off one of the more brilliant performances of the season in the team's regular season finale against No. 1 FSU, continued her momentum with a game-tying goal in the 74th. After Maryland midfielder Domenica Hodak was issued a yellow card for a foul inside the box, Schwitter converted the penalty kick past Beanlands for her second goal of the season to even the score at 1-1.

Despite a late rally from the Terps, sophomore goalkeeper Emily Lillard would maintain her composure in the final stages of the second half. After a diving stop on a bending free kick in the 75th, Lillard added a save on an outside shot from Hubka in the 83rd minute to help force an extra golden goal period.

Flinn nearly duplicated her miraculous tally against Florida State with a goal in the game's last few minutes. Unfortunately, the sophomore forward was ruled offside on a close call, keeping the game locked at 1-1.

When asked about the call, Anagnost said, "During the flow of the game, we couldn't tell if Ashley was offside. We need to see the replay to be able to comment on the ruling."

After Miami opened the extra frame with an early corner kick, the Terrapins took advantage of an opportunistic chance five minutes in. Ryan's pass to Hubka was finished past Lillard to put Maryland into the tournament's second round.

Miami now awaits its NCAA postseason fate, which will be announced Monday, Nov. 5.

The Hurricanes' impressive resume includes wins over No. 1 Florida State, No. 9 Maryland, No. 11 Florida and overtime draws with three other teams ranked in the top 25 (No. 19 West  Virginia, No. 21 Boston College and then-No. 19 Virginia Tech). Though the Hurricanes did not qualify for the ACC Championship in 2011, they were one of nine teams from the conference selected in the field of 64.

"We must improve over this next week and a half," Anagnost said. "If we can do so, we can be very formidable for our first-round NCAA opponent."