Nov. 16, 2002
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -
The Maryland Terrapins (16-4) head to Norfolk, Va., for the second time this season - and it's all on the line this weekend as the Terps need two victories to advance to Louisville, Ky., and the 2002 NCAA Field Hockey Semifinals. The Terrapins' road to their fourth straight final four begins with a 2 p.m. NCAA First Round match-up with William & Mary (12-8) on Saturday, Nov. 16 at Old Dominion's Foreman Field.
The Terps would then have to contend with the winner of the University of Richmond's (17-6) first round meeting with the No. 1 Monarchs, who serve as hosts for the weekend. The Tribe meets ODU at 11 a.m. on Saturday, with the Second Round game scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 17 at 2 p.m.
The Terrapin field hockey squad is making its eighth straight NCAA Tournament appearance (1995-2002) - the third most of any of Maryland's 25 varsity sports. Women's lacrosse has made 11 consecutive appearances since 1992, and men's basketball has made nine straight since 1994. The 2002 selection marks field hockey's 15th NCAA Tournament appearance and 16th national berth, including a 1979 AIAW run to the national semifinals.
The Terps are coming off their fifth straight ACC title game appearance, having captured the conference crown from 1998-2001. Maryland overcame a two-goal halftime deficit in the semifinal round before knocking off North Carolina, 3-2 in overtime. The Terps fell to Wake Forest by a 4-0 margin in the championship game.
William & Mary likewise reached its conference title game, falling 2-0 at Old Dominion on Nov. 10. The Tribe had defeated Delaware, 4-1, in the CAA semifinal and will be spending its second straight weekend playing at Old Dominion's Foreman Field.
Maryland moved to No. 5 in the STX/National Field Hockey Coaches Association Poll (NFHCA) after being ranked fourth for two weeks, third on Oct. 22 and holding the top spot for the first six weeks of the season.
2002 NCAA Regionals
Foreman Field, Norfolk, Va.
Nov. 16 * First Round
No. 1 Old Dominion vs. Richmond - 11:00 a.m.
Maryland vs. William & Mary - 2:00 p.m.
Nov. 17 * Second Round
Regional Championship - 2:00 p.m.
Terps, Welcome Back To Bracketville
The Terrapins are making their eighth consecutive NCAA Championships appearance and 15th overall in 2002. The Terps have reached the second round 12 times, the semifinal seven times (1987, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1999, 2000 and 2001), and the championship game five times (1987, 1993, 1995, 1999 and 2001).
Maryland owns three national titles (1987, 1993, 1999) and a 22-11 record all-time in the NCAAs. Head coach Missy Meharg, who guided the Terps to titles in 1993 and 1999, joins only Old Dominion's Beth Anders (9), North Carolina's Karen Shelton (4) and Connecticut's Diane Wright (2) as mentors with multiple national field hockey championships.
Should the Terps capture the title in 2002, it would be their fourth NCAA championship in 2002. Maryland owns the third-most national titles in history, trailing Old Dominion's unprecedented nine and North Carolina's four. ODU and UNC are the only teams with consecutive national championships, and both have "threepeated" as well.
Missy Meharg's field hockey squad will attempt to be the second Terp team to reach a NCAA semifinal in the last eight months. Head coach Gary Williams led the men's basketball team to its second straight Final Four and first-ever national championship in program history in March of 2002.
Terps At A Glance
Having graduated four All-Americans and the 2001 national player of the year among a senior class of eight last season, the Maryland Terrapins opened the 2002 campaign looking to make a fresh start with its new roster. Now, in the midst of the postseason, the new-look squad has made some waves on the national scene - a roster that features 10 newcomers and a starting line-up that includes six rookies finds itself at 16-4, ranked fifth in the nation and playing in Maryland's eighth straight NCAA tournament.
On the offensive end, senior All-American and 2002 All-ACC selection Carissa Messimer (Mountaintop, Pa.) leads the way with 15 goals and five assists for 35 points, and is followed closely by 2001 ACC Rookie of the Year and 2002 all-conference honoree Colleen Barbieri (Centereach, N.Y.) who has 13 goals and six assists for 32 points.
Meanwhile, 2001 Mid-Atlantic All-Region senior Kateri Simon (Fallston, Md.) has adapted well to an increased role in the offense and totals a team-leading 13 assists. Ten different Terrapins have scored goals in Maryland's 20 games, as the Terps have outscored their opponents 56-20.
Defensively, the Terrapins are off to a fine start, tied for fifth in the nation in limiting opponents to a 0.97 goals against average and only 5.1 shots per game. Led by senior back Izzy Palmer (Malvern, England), the Terps' talented backfield continues to uphold the standard that led the nation in 2001.
Now in her 15th season, four-time national coach of the year Missy Meharg owns a career record of 243-80-9, good enough for 13th on the all-time Division I wins list. New to the 2002 season is the addition of the Missy Meharg Radio Show, which is archived at the campus radio website WMUCsports.com.
Seniors Step Up
What the 2002 Terrapins may lack in upperclassman quantity, they more than make up for in quality. All three of the Maryland seniors have stepped into important roles for the Terrapins, and all three have risen to the challenge.
Midfielder Carissa Messimer, a second team All-America selection from a season ago, has been rock solid in the Terrapin midfield. Messimer stands first on the squad with 35 points after finishing tied for second in 2001, and has been playing tenacious defense in her dual role. Messimer is a viable option for the Terrapins in different roles on attack penalty corners, and her elimination skills in open space are unmatched.
Fellow midfielder and 2001 all-region selection Kateri Simon has also adjusted to her new role, moving from strictly defense into the Terps' offensive scheme at times. Simon, who earned a full-time position as a defensive back in 2001, has developed into a playmaker as a senior and currently leads the team and ranks tied for first in the conference with 13 assists. Her first career goal came in the Terps' Sept. 6 win over Drexel.
The Terrapins had a major gap to fill in the backfield with the graduation of 2001 Honda Award winner Autumn Welsh, and readily stepping in has been international veteran Izzy Palmer. Palmer has been a voice of leadership for Maryland out of the backfield, in addition to her key role on attack penalty corners. She totals 25 points on eight goals and nine assists.
The Maryland hockey team has always been a squad that embraces diversity, and accomplished international transfers Izzy Palmer (Malvern, England) and Katrin Rummer (Karlsruhe, Germany) have carried on that tradition.
Palmer, a 2002 All-ACC and ACC All-Tournament selection as the Terps' center back, has become the backbone of the Terps' defense and a team leader on the field. The England national squad member comes from the University of the West of England and has only this season of NCAA eligibility remaining, but will be completing a second degree at Maryland. She has contributed eight goals and nine assists in addition to the intangibles she brings to the young Terp lineup.
Rummer, a transfer from Karlsruhe University in Heidelberg, Germany, came to the Terrapins from the same region which two-time former Terp All-American Caroline Walter hails. Rummer has been a spark in the midfield, totaling a team-leading 13 assists on the season. Rummer's first game-winning goal of 2002 came in the first half against then-No. 2 Old Dominion on Sept. 8, and her 13 assists rank first on the team and in the ACC.
Strong Island Strikes Again
There's no second-year slump for sophomore sensation Colleen Barbieri, who has led the Terp offense in goals and points for much of the season after setting the pace as a freshman in 2001. The 2001 ACC Rookie of the Year came back with a vengeance in her second season with the Terrapins, and her 13 goals and 32 points places second on the Terp squad and the conference.
Barbieri's ruthless pursuit of the goal cage has resulted in nothing but success for the Terps, as she accounts for six of Maryland's 14 game-winning goals. She has also contributed five assists, including the pass on the overtime game-winner to lift Maryland over UNC in the ACC semifinal.
The sophomore's efforts have not gone unnoticed, as she was selected to the All-ACC team and the ACC's All-Tournament team. She was also named ACC Player of the Week twice in 2002 - on Sept. 3 and Oct. 7 - after receiving the honor two times as a freshman in 2001.
The Marathon Assassin
Calculating rookie forward Tiffany Marsh (Marathon, N.Y.) has come on strong for the Terps as the season has progressed. She currently stands fourth on the team in scoring with seven goals and one assist for 15 points.
The freshman has played in all of the Terps' 20 games this season and has contributed when Maryland needed it most - Marsh has scored in games against then-No. 2 Old Dominion, then-No. 5 Wake Forest, then-No. 15 Princeton, then-No. 12 Duke and then-No. 8 James Madison. Her first goal in the first half against the Blue Devils on Oct. 12 marked the freshman's first career game-winner.
Marsh hails from the Cortland, N.Y. area and attended the same high school as all-time Terp scoring leader Carla Tagliente. Marsh shattered all of Tagliente's high school scoring records and the Terrapins can only hope her success continues in College Park.
Can You Stop Carissa?
You can tell it's the postseason when Carissa Messimer begins to seriously heat up. The senior has a history of lighting up the scoreboard as the leaves turn, totaling 13 goals in 17 postseason games played.
The most famous of Messimer's postseason goals, of course, was her game-winner in the 1999 NCAA Championship game that helped the Terps sink Michigan, 2-1. But her two goals in 2000 and 2001's ACC title contests resulted in Maryland's fourth and fifth-straight ACC titles.
Messimer began to approach the postseason with seven points in the last two games of the regular season. She had a pair of goals on Senior Day (Nov. 3) vs. American before scoring the first of the Terps' three goals in the ACC semifinal to spark Maryland's comeback over UNC.
Redshirt-freshman goalie Tori Cano (Sea Cliff, N.Y.) will get the second start of her career against William & Mary in the NCAA First Round, spelling sophomore Kerry Hearsey.
Cano posted the first win and solo shutout of her career as the Terps beat Davidson 3-0 on Oct. 13. She has played in five games this season and has made two career saves.
Terps At Foreman Field
A converted football stadium on the Old Dominion campus, Foreman Field is physically the largest stage seen by the Terps each season. With it's soupy turf and 20,000 seat capacity, a match at the home of the Monarchs is always a welcome challenge as Maryland and Old Dominion have shared one of college field hockey's most exciting rivalries in recent years.
The Terrapins make at least one pilgrimage to Foreman Field in each season, as Maryland and ODU have played in a home-and-home series since 1999. William & Mary played at the home of the Monarchs only last weekend at the CAA Tournament.
The Terps have seen NCAA action at Foreman Field three times -- in 1999, 1992 and in the national semifinals in 2000. Against any opponent at Foreman Field, including postseason foes, the Terps are 4-12-1 in their history.