Feb. 7, 2013
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Make no mistake, while Maryland boasts a stellar rookie class this season, 2013 has been deemed the year of the senior. With nine seniors, including Tewaaraton winner Katie Schwarzmann, it's easy to see why.
Head coach Cathy Reese returns for her seventh season at Maryland and hopes to utilize the leadership of her senior group to lead the Terps to their fifth straight ACC crown.
"This senior class has been to three straight ACC championship games and three straight final fours," head coach Cathy Reese said. "Led by our three captains - Katie Schwarzmann, Melissa Diepold and Alex Aust - we are confident this leadership group will do a fantastic job mentoring our underclassmen."
The Terps will have a mix of midfielders and attackers on the attack this season and the unit will be led by senior All-American Alex Aust.
Aust was tremendous down the stretch for Maryland, including an epic performance in the ACC tournament. The Sterling, Va., native was the team leader in assists (52) and points (96) and will be called upon to be the main distributor again in 2013.
"We are always looking for our attack to be fast-paced in transition and on fast breaks," Reese said. "We will rely a lot on Alex to be the leader in the offense and really attacking from all areas."
Look for Brooke Griffin, a contributor as a starter in the midfield last season, to serve more time in the attack as a sophomore. Fellow sophomores Kristen Lamon and Taylor Salandra also saw time off the bench as rookies.
Maryland's deepest position is certainly the midfield where it returns eight players from last year's squad including all-everything Schwarzmann, who spent the majority of the offseason training with the U.S. women's national team in preparation for the 2013 FIL World Cup.
In addition to becoming Maryland's third Tewaaraton Award winner in 2012, the Sykesville, Md., native racked up All-ACC and All-America honors for the third consecutive season. She was also named IWLCA National Midfielder of the Year for the second straight season. As one of the fastest players in the country, the 2012 ACC Scholar Athlete and Offensive Player of the Year is integral to the transition game.
"It's great to have so many returning players in the midfield and we are also excited about some talented newcomers," Reese said. "We are looking for a transition-focused, fast, organized, and hard-working midfield. We think we've added some good depth and athleticism as well and hope to apply pressure all over the field."
McPartland was tabbed to the U.S. national team in the offseason and was an all-region selection in 2012. A knee injury to Glaros sidelined the sophomore late last season, hurting Maryland during the postseason, but her return will pay dividends to the midfield.
Also returning is Erin Collins and Jen Mendez, who saw significant time for the ACC champion Terps in 2013. Other returners include Mattie Meredith and Amalie Trentzch. Newcomers hoping to make an impact are Taylor Cummings and Bryn Boucher.
The Maryland defense will be led by reigning IWLCA National Defender of the Year Iliana Sanza. Sanza stepped out of the shadow in her junior campaign to lead a youth-laden defense back to the final four.
"We are excited to return all four starters from last year's defense and that experience should really help us this season," Reese said. "Our defense starts our offense. We want to be high-pace, risk-taking and athletic."
The Terps will have a large void to fill in the cage after the graduation of four-year starter Brittany Dipper. Senior Kasey Howard and redshirt sophomore Abbey Clipp will compete to fill the vacancy.
"Both Kasey and Abbey are two really highly-motivated players who have been working very hard in the offseason and competing to fill the open goalie spot," Reese said. "We have a lot of confidence in both of them."
With the departure of four-time All-ACC attacker Karri Ellen Johnson, Maryland will have a new Terp in the circle for draw controls in 2013.
Watch for Cummings, a freshman, to step into that role. Glaros and Hayes saw action last season at the draw and will do so again in 2013. Boucher and Meredith will also see time in the circle.
"We will be very athletic around the circle, no matter who is taking the draw for us," Reese said. "We always want to focus on fighting for every possession in the air and on the ground."