Feb. 10, 2009
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Coming off its third national championship in four seasons and the sixth in program history, the Maryland field hockey team announced seven of its incoming freshman student-athletes on Monday as it aims to not skip a beat in its effort to remain the country's premier program.
"On behalf of Maryland hockey, it is a privilege to announce and welcome the following student-athletes for the incoming class of 2009," head coach Missy Meharg said. "Maryland hockey is excited to bring in a large class for next year as we `replenish the tradition' which many past and present Terps have defined as Champions."
The coaching staff welcomes Kirstie Dennig, Colleen Gulick, Danielle Kauffman, Christine Knauss, Janessa Pope, Lindsey Puckett and Harriet Tibble as Terrapin field hockey student-athletes.
Pocomoke City, Md. Center Midfielder
Pocomoke High School
A center midfielder and four-year letterwinner at Pocomoke High School in Pocomoke City, Md., Kirstie Dennig earned first-team all-state honors as a senior. Helping Pocomoke win four consecutive Maryland 1A State Championships, Dennig served as captain of coach Susan Pusey's team as a junior and senior. A 2008 USA Field Hockey National Futures Tournament selection, she was named a Junior National Camp alternate last season.
A National Honor Society member, Dennig is currently second in her class of 107. She intends to major in education upon arrival in College Park.
Why I chose Maryland: "I always wanted to play Division I hockey and dreamed of being a Terp. I hope to work hard to live up to the excellent top-notch program at Maryland and am so excited to attend such a prestigious school and live in such an exciting atmosphere."
Meharg on Dennig: "Kirstie is simply an exciting player. She is a fiery, tenacious goal-scoring forward with a natural flair to lay it out for her team. As a softball standout as well, she has a tough mentality. The Terps are proud to have an athlete from the highly successful Pocomoke program."
Pottsville, Pa. Center Midfielder
The Hill School
Colleen Gulick leaves the Hill School in Pottsville, Pa. as the school's all-time leading scorer. As a senior captain, she earned all-league and all-area recognition for the second time in her career. Under coach Meg Watson, Gulick twice was named the team's Most Valuable Player.
Although she played center-midfield at the Hill School, Gulick showed her versatility when playing with her highly-regarded X-Calibur club team, where she played in the central defense. The X-Calibur club also produced Ellen Ott, Sarah Scholl and Katie O'Donnell, all members of Maryland's 2008 National Championship team. Gulick also earned a Junior Olympics gold medal.
As a highly-acclaimed cyclist, Gulick is a three-time recipient of the Lance Armstrong Award for her exemplary cycling skills. Presently a member of the USA U19 cycling team, she excelled at ice hockey as well and participated on the U19 national team in that sport in 2007.
A Dean's List member every year at Hill, Gulick has expressed a desire to major in bioengineering at Maryland.
Why I chose Maryland: "My initial aspiration was to attend a large D1 institution with a bioengineering program and a nationally ranked field hockey team. Maryland has all three attributes and more."
Meharg on Gulick: "Colleen is mentally stimulated by high performance and competes in a variety of sports. She is a world-class cyclist and garnished ice hockey player - hence possessing innate courage coupled with flexible hands for advanced hockey skills. Colleen is a communicator and has the potential to be a strong defensive field general. Colleen is gifted across the board, being granted early acceptance into our Honors Program and the College of Biomedical Engineering."
Dillsburg, Pa. Midfield/Back
Northern High School
A three-time MVP at Northern High School in Dillsburg, Pa., Danielle Kauffman finished her senior season as the Mid-Penn Keystone League Co-Player of the Year. Second-team all-state in Pennsylvania, Kauffman played midfield/back while at Northern. The four-year letterwinner twice served as a team captain for head coach Edwin Graham. With her club team, the PA Mavericks, Kauffman claimed a pool championship in 2008 at the NFHCA National Festival.
Also a varsity basketball and soccer star at Northern, Kauffman is an All-American Scholar and National Honors Society member. As of yet, she is undecided on her major at Maryland.
Why I chose Maryland: "I choose Maryland because it is not too far from home but not too close either. The field hockey program is outstanding and the academics are great as well."
Meharg on Kauffman: "Danielle is an extremely gifted three-sport athlete. She is a natural midfielder and comfortably runs the field in and out of transition. Danielle has a quality set of skills and a broad tactical base. She brings a simple, hardworking mentalty to the Terps program and leads by example."
Baltimore, Md. Defense
Garrison Forest School
Out of Garrison Forest School in Baltimore, Christine Knauss is no stranger to a championship tradition such as Maryland's. Leading her team to three IAAM Division championships and the 2007 and 2008 IAAM Tournament championships, Knauss was a member of the Baltimore Examiner's All-Metro field hockey first team and Baltimore Sun's All-Metro field hockey second team. Knauss served as a team captain for head coach Traci Davis as a junior and senior.
A recipient of the AP Scholar Award and a 2008 National Honor Roll student, Knauss intends to major in engineering in College Park and has been accepted in the College of Biomedical Engineering.
Why I chose Maryland: "I chose Maryland because of the academic and athletic excellence. The people at Maryland love to be very involved in everything they do while having fun. I just felt that I fit right in."
Meharg on Knauss: "Christine is a true winner on and off the field. She is highly motivated by a ruthless defensive mentality and style. She has solid backfield passing skills and strong tackles. Christine's entrance into our engineering program as a freshman is a testament to her work rate and commitment."
Harrisburg, Pa. Forward/Midfield
Central Dauphin High School
The 2008 Most Valuable Player at Central Dauphin High School in Harrisburg, Pa., Janessa Pope earned first-team all-state recognition en route to leading her team to the state semifinals. At Central Dauphin, Pope was coached by Janelle Kern. A two-time Patriot News Big 11 Team honoree, Pope also helped lead her club team - Sutter's Brigade - to a pool championship at the 2008 NFHCA National Festival.
Also a varisty soccer and track star, Pope earned honor roll status all four years at Central Dauphin and was named to the National Honors Society. She has not yet decided on a major.
Why I chose Maryland: "I chose Maryland because I wanted a large school near a big city with diversity. I really liked the atmosphere and the people I met. I was also very impressed with Maryland's academic reputation and opportunities. Plus, Maryland field hockey is known for its speed and desire to win."
Meharg on Pope: "Janessa is a pure athlete and quite the diamond in the rough. She has unmatched quickness and unlimited potential for any level of the game. Janessa will enhance our team attacking speed to the goal. She is positionally flexibly, playing anywhere in the front two lines."
Fallston, Md. Forward
Fallston High School
A forward from Fallston High School in Fallston, Md., Lindsey Puckett was one of the most talented high school athletes in the State of Maryland. A three-time first-team all-state performer for head coach Alice Puckett at Fallson, Puckett was a member of the Baltimore Sun's first-team All-Metro team three times. As a senior, the Sun named her their 2008 Player of the Year. After each of her high school seasons, Puckett was named an NFHCA Regional All-American. A five-time participant in the National Futures Tournament, she also participated in the Junior Olympics from 2005-07.
An honor roll student at Fallston, Puckett has not yet decided on her major.
Why I chose Maryland: "I chose Maryland for the outstanding field hockey program and the wonderful education it will provide."
Meharg on Puckett: "In our opinion, Lindsey is the State of Maryland's most polished hockey player in the Class of 2009. Having had a stick in her hands since she was six years old puts her ahead of the transition curve fundamentally and tactically as she becomes a Terp. She hails from Fallston High School, where former Terps Kateri Simon and Kim Zeigler competed as student-athletes."
Surrey, England Defense
Kingston Grammar School
Maryland's class is focused in the Mid-Atlantic region, but the pull of the Terrapins is evident with the commitment of Harriet Tibble from Kingston Grammar School in Surrey, England. A member of the England U16 team from 2005-07 and the U18 team from 2007-09, Tibble's defense helped Kingston claim an Under-18 National Championship in 2004, and an Under-18 Indoor National Championship in 2008. In 2006, she led the team to an Under-15 Surrey County Championship.
Tibble will enroll in the Smith School of Business upon arrival in College Park.
Why I chose Maryland: "The national and international competitiveness of the Smith School of Business was most appealing. Being a quality international school with high-performing hockey and a nationally-ranked business school inspired me to choose Maryland."
Meharg on Tibble: "Harriet is an exciting asset to our backfield unit. She possesses high-level fundamental skill sets, coupled with international playing experience across Western Europe at the Under-18 level. Harriet is a gifted student, having been accepted early into our Smith School of Business."