Jan. 25, 2011
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Defending national champion Maryland will head to sunny Florida this weekend to take on the U.S. Senior National Team in the 2011 Champion Challenge at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
The Terps will take part in festivities Friday and Saturday before battling the U.S. - the defending FIL World Cup champions - at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Sunday. A replay of the Terps' first match will be broadcast on ESPNU at midnight Monday.
For more information on the sixth annual Champion Challenge, please follow the link above to the event's official website.
THEY'RE BACK - TITLE TERPS READY TO DEFEND CROWN
Maryland is looking to extend its nation-topping numbers by garnering its 27th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and 12th national title in 2011. While the absence of Tewaaraton winner Caitlyn McFadden and IWLCA National Defender of the Year Karissa Taylor will undoubtedly leave a void, 2010 IWLCA National Coach of the Year Cathy Reese and the Terps look forward to filling the gaps with a mix of old and new to create yet another national champion contending unit for the 2011 season.
Three IWLCA All-Americans return for the defending national champion Terps, including senior attacker Sarah Mollison, junior attacker Karri Ellen Johnson and sophomore midfielder Katie Schwarzmann. Johnson has been pegged by Lacrosse Magazine as its preseason national player of the year.
Top defenders Katie Gallagher and Alexcia Niumatalolo will also be well-received additions to the roster after serving red shirt seasons during the Terrapin's run to the crown last season.
The Terps home schedule will be an exciting one as Maryland welcomes the likes of Penn State, Duke, Syracuse, Penn and North Carolina to the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex.
WHAT A RIDE...
Maryland captured its 10th NCAA crown when it staged an incredible comeback from a 6-0 deficit against five-time defending champion Northwestern in the national title game to conclude the 2010 season.
It was Maryland's first NCAA title since 2001. The game was played in front a record-crowd totaling nearly 10,000 people.
RED, WHITE & BLUE TERPS
When the Terps tangle with the U.S. Sunday, they will be without the services of key players Katie Schwarzmann and Brittany Poist.
Schwarzmann, an IWLCA Second Team All-American and the ACC Rookie of the Year in 2010, is in her first full season with U.S. Senior National Team. She joins her older sister, Lauren, on the squad.
Poist is also experiencing her first action with the U.S. Senior National Team. A transfer from the University of Louisville, Poist played an integral role for Maryland as a junior, helping lead the nation's top defense.
GALLAGHER, NIUMATALOLO RETURN FOR DEFENSE
After serving redshirt seasons during Maryland's run to the national title in 2010, Katie Gallagher and Alexcia Niumatalolo return to action in 2011 to help rejuvenate a defense that will be without the services of departing seniors Abby Caso and Karissa Taylor.
Gallagher is entering her third season as a starter and has totaled 24 caused turnovers and 33 ground balls since her arrival to College Park in the 2007 season.
Niumatalolo was a starter her sophomore season and will likely provided added athleticism and experience to the defense.
KEJ TABBED PRESEASON BEST
Junior attacker Karri Ellen Johnson has been named Lacrosse Magazine's NCAA Division I Preseason Player of the Year, announced by the publication Monday.
Johnson, a local product from Annapolis, has amassed 143 goals in only two seasons in College Park. She capped last year's magical run to the program's 10th NCAA championship by scoring three times in the Terps' 13-11 win over five-time defending champion Northwestern in the NCAA final.
The two-time IWLCA All-American needs a mere six goals to land on Maryland's top ten career goals list.
THE YOUNG AND TALENTED
Four freshmen once again represented the University of Maryland well when they played in the 2010 Under Armour All-America Game.
Brooke Griffin led all South scorers with three goals as the North edged the South.
Beth Glaros, Amalie Trentzsch and Kelsey Horton all earned starts and joined Griffin.
Horton tallied a team-high four assists on the day, including two to Griffin, while adding a goal. Glaros scooped a ground ball and the combo of Griffin and Horton gathered a combined six draw controls in the all-star action.
REESE RETURNS FOR FIFTH SEASON
Head coach Cathy Reese returns for her fifth season at her alma mater.
2010 IWLCA National Coach of the Year
2007, 2009, and 2010 ACC Coach of the Year
2009, 2010 ACC Champions
Coached 2008, 2007, 2009 and 2010 ACC Player of the Year, 2009 and 2010 ACC Rookie of the Year, one Tewaaraton Award winner, 14 All-Americans, and 15 All-ACC selections
2009 and 2010 IWLCA South Region Coach of the Year
Won eight national championships at Maryland as a player and coach (1995-2001, 2010)
Maryland boasts three players from countries outside the U.S., including captains Sarah Mollison (Australia) and Laura Merrifield (England).
A transfer from Cal-Berkley, Camilla Hayes joins Merrifield as a representative from England.
SMALLS DISHIN' IT OUT
Sarah Mollison is looking to add her name to the Maryland career assists list this season.
The senior from Melbourne, Australia, needs only three assists to land on the top ten. Her 38 helpers in 2009 rank eighth all-time in Terrapin single-season history.
Cathy Reese has named seniors Sarah Mollison, Katie Gallagher and Laura Merrifield captains for the 2011 campaign.
Mollison served as captain last year as a junior, helping lead Maryland to its first national championship since 2001. The attacker was third on the team last season with 45 goals. The Melbourne, Australia, native is a two-time All-American and returns for her third season as a starter.
Gallagher missed last season with an illness but is poised to lead the Terrapin defense in 2011. One of Maryland's strongest players, Gallagher is a three-year starter for the Terps and played a key role in the squad capturing the 2009 ACC Championship.
Merrifield has been a steady force in the midfield for Maryland since her arrival. As one of the tallest players in the country, she brings an imposing stature to the Terps' offensive scheme and also boasts the speed to allow Maryland to run its fast-paced style of play.
TERPS LAX - A FAMILY AFFAIR
Maryland freshmen Abbey Clipp and Annie Farrell have a family link to the Terps.
Clipp's sister Becky is a former All-American for the women's lacrosse program. Farrell's brother, Brian, is an All-American long pole for the Terrapin men's lacrosse unit.