Oct. 30, 2008
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Maryland field hockey team was due for a picture-perfect Senior Night.
After playing the last three home finales in pouring rain, the Terrapins took the field Thursday on a cold but clear evening in College Park, and made this year's Senior Night one to remember. Maryland defeated VCU, 10-0, marking their third consecutive shutout. When Danielle Keeley scored on a penalty corner with no time remaining, the last chapter of the storybook was written as all five seniors had tallied a goal.
The most prolific scorer for the Terrapins (16-2, 4-1) wasted little time putting the team on the board. Senior Susie Rowe (London, England/Colfe's School) capitalized on a penalty corner just 1:35 into the game, benefiting from assists by senior Ellen Ott (Schwenksville, Pa./Perkiomen Valley) and sophomore Katie O'Donnell (Blue Bell, Pa./Wissahickon).
The Terps kept the ball in their end of the field for most of the first half, not allowing VCU (4-14, 0-7) a shot in the period. After coming up empty on several good scoring opportunities, Maryland got their second goal and second senior tally when Sarah Scholl (Center Valley, Pa./Southern Lehigh) deflected a hard pass from Ameliet Rischen (Rotterdam, Netherlands/Wolfert van Borselen) beyond the reach of the Rams' goalie, Laura Baker.
Less than two minutes later, it was junior Nicole Muracco (Sewell, N.J./Washington Township) who deflected a Rischen pass into the cage for a Terp goal. That was followed by a goal from Meghan Dean (Marathon, N.Y./Marathon Central), who reeled in a pass from Rowe and rifled a shot from about 10 yards out past Baker to put Maryland up 4-0.
After assisting Rowe on her goal, senior Emma Thomas (High Wycombe, England/Wycombe) got in on the action herself when she was the beneficiary of a penalty corner score for the Terps. It was a clean and efficient play as the ball came into Ott, who dished it off to Thomas for the score.
The fourth senior to score was Ott, as she got on the board just five minutes into the second half. Baker registered one of her nine total saves on a penalty corner shot by Rowe, but VCU could not control the rebound as Ott got to the ball and ripped it home, making the score 8-0.
On a night when the seniors were knocking in the final goals of their regular season career, the Terrapins' ninth goal was the first collegiate tally for freshman Brigitte Strother (Annapolis, Md./Broadneck). Strother redirected a hard shot which came from Thomas, straight on to the net but from just outside the half circle. Strother's deflection caught the Rams' defense off-guard.
The score was 9-0, with four of the five Terps seniors scoring a goal on Senior Night. It couldn't get much better, but no one was satisfied. As the time ticked down, Maryland again controlled possession, trying to set up a shot for senior Danielle Keeley (Elkton, Md./North East).
It appeared that the chance would not come, as a penalty corner with seconds left on the clock went without Maryland able to get off a shot. But just before the clock hit triple zeroes, Maryland earned its 13th and final penalty corner. Thirteen turned out to be lucky this time, as Keeley redirected a hard pass from Rowe into the cage, ensuring that all five Terp seniors would get their names in the scorebook on this Senior Night.
With the regular season behind them, Maryland now looks forward to the ACC Tournament in Durham, N.C. The Terps are assured of the top seed in the draw, earning a bye through the first day of competition. Times and opponents are yet to be determined, but Maryland will play its first game on Thursday on the campus of Duke University.
VCU (4-14, 0-7) 0 0 - 0 #1 Maryland (16-2, 4-1) 7 3 - 10
GOALS: VCU, none; MD, Susie Rowe (Ellen Ott, Katie O'Donnell) 1:35; Sarah Scholl (Ameliet Rischen) 13:26; Nicole Muracco (Ameliet Rischen) 15:20; Meghan Dean (Susie Rowe) 19:35; Katie O'Donnell (un) 20:33; Susie Rowe (Emma Thomas) 24:03; Emma Thomas (Ellen Ott) 26:54; Ellen Ott (un) 40:12; Brigitte Strother (Emma Thomas) 54:45; Danielle Keeley (Susie Rowe, Ellen Ott) 70:00. SHOTS: VCU 2, MD 34. PENALTY CORNERS: VCU 1, MD 13. SAVES: VCU, Laura Baker 9 (10 GA, 70:00); MD, Alicia Grater 0 (0 GA, 35:00); Melissa Vassalotti 1 (0 GA, 35:00). ATTENDANCE: 305