PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - The sixth-ranked Maryland field hockey team opened its 2016 season with a 6-2 win at Saint Joseph’s Friday afternoon in the Conference Cup in Philadelphia.
“It was a great start. It was nice to play in really hot weather because that’s what we trained in,” head coach Missy Meharg said. “We were prepared for this. We knew we were going to need a lot of players and we got great performances from a number of them today, especially our freshmen. That’s really exciting as we prepare for Syracuse. We’ve got very crafty goal scorers, certainly Welma with the deflections and the Emma couldn’t be better in front of the goal cage. We’re very impressed with our leadership. We had great communication out of the back with Grace Balsdon, Carrie Hanks, Brooke Adler and they supplied the structure and the discipline to maintain control of the game.”
Balsdon scored the first goal of the year for Maryland when she buried a shot off a penalty corner in the eighth minute. Junior Lein Holsboer and senior Delaney Leathers picked up assists on the play.
The Hawks tied the game with 6:30 left in the first half when Anna Willocks scored off a penalty corner. A minute later, Luus gave the Terps’ the lead back when she brought the ball into the circle and cracked a backhanded shot.
Baldson tacked on the Terps’ third goal two and a half minutes before the break when she struck off another penalty corner. Maryland would lead 3-1 at halftime.
Rissinger scored Maryland’s fourth goal when she knocked in a loose ball after a long hit up ahead from Holsboer.
The Hawks’ Willocks added their second goal when she tipped in a loose ball along the far post with 20 minutes to play.
Rissinger added her goal of the day to make it a 5-2 lead when she ducked behind the Saint Joseph’s keeper with 16 minutes to play. Luus added her second of the goal of the game when she slammed in a hard shot from just inside the circle to make it a 6-2 lead with five minutes left.
The Terrapins will play No. 2 Syracuse Sunday at noon at the Hawks' Ellen Ryan Field. Live Stats will be available and updates will also be posted to the Maryland Field Hockey Twitter feed, so "Follow" to get updates sent straight to you.
Meharg is in her 29th season as head coach of the Terrapins. She’s led them to a record of 510-123-9 (.801), seven NCAA titles, 22 conference titles and 16 Final Fours. She has been named NFHCA National Coach of the Year an unprecedented nine times in her career.
DEFLECTIONS: Maryland is 39-3-2 in season openers and the Terps have won their last 21 straight…Maryland was tabbed as the No. 6 team in the country in the Penn Monto/Division I Coaches Preseason poll released Tuesday…The Terps return 14 letterwinners and seven starters from last year's Big Ten title squad.
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