Dec. 1, 2008
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - After a championship season, the honors are pouring in for the Maryland field hockey team, from the campus community and the field hockey world at large.
On Monday, the Terps were selected to be a part of President C.D. Mote's annual holiday message to the University community. Hoisting the championship trophy they earned with a 4-2 victory over Wake Forest on November 23, head coach Missy Meharg and the team gleefully filmed the message at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex.
The team got its next piece of good news with an abundance of postseason honors accorded to several Terps.
Four Terps were named to the Longstreth/NFHCA Division I All-American Team. Senior Susie Rowe and sophomore Katie O'Donnell earned first-team honors, while juniors Brianna Davies and Alicia Grater were named to the third team.
After setting a school record for points earned and tying the program's mark for goals in a season, senior Susie Rowe became just the sixth player in Maryland history to earn first-team All-American honors three times in her career. Rowe, the MVP of the ACC Tournament and a member of the NCAA All-Tournament Team, was also named the ACC's Defensive Player of the Year this season.
Rowe's record-breaking season was enough to make her one of four nominees for field hockey's most prestigious recognition, the Honda Award. The recipient will be announced later this month.
Sophomore Katie O'Donnell joins Rowe on the first team after another exceptional campaign. The ACC's Offensive Player of the Year and an All-Tournament performer at both the NCAA and ACC Tournaments, O'Donnell became just the second player in program history to earn first-team All-American honors in each of her first two collegiate seasons. Despite missing two games while captaining gold medal-winning Team USA at the Junior Pan-American Games, O'Donnell put together a 68-point season which has only been bested in Terp history by Rowe's 74 points this year.
While Rowe and O'Donnell spearheaded the Maryland offense, it was juniors Brianna Davies and Alicia Grater who took care of an equally dominant defense. In her first season as the Terps' starter, Grater allowed just 1.24 goals per game, earning four complete-game shutouts and starting in goal for four more. An All-ACC selection, the goalie capped her season with All-Tournament recognition at the NCAA Tournament.
Meanwhile, it was Davies who led a defense which allowed Terp opponents just 116 shots on goal all season, less than half as many as the Terps took. Davies, an All-ACC and NCAA Tournament performer, was also a part of the gold medal-winning Team USA at the Junior Pan American Games. In the national championship game, Davies earned her fifth assist of the season on the contest's final tally.
Both Davies and Grater are first-time All-American selections.
The four Maryland All-Americans will join junior Alexis Pappas as Longstreth/NFHCA Division I All-Mid Atlantic Region performers. Pappas, another Terrapin gold medalist at the Junior Pan-American Games, was third on the team with 12 assists from the midfield. Her last helper of the season came when she dished the ball to Rowe on the game-winner of the NCAA title game.
Ott, who scored the game-winner against Virginia in overtime to send the Terps to the ACC title game, earned the distinction for a second time in her career.
Now a three-time All-Mid Atlantic performer, it was Muracco who sent home the game-winner against Wake Forest in the ACC Championship Game with under three minutes to play. Muracco struck again, this time equaling the score, in the NCAA final.
Rischen earned her second All-Mid Atlantic honor as a steadying force in the midfield for the Terps. Adding two helpers in the senior night romp over VCU, Rischen finished with four goals and a career-best four assists while keying the Terps' attack from midfield.
The recognition and celebration does not end there for the 2008 National Champions. On Wednesday, the team will be introduced to the crowd at halftime of the Maryland men's basketball game against Michigan. Part of the tenth ACC/Big Ten Challenge, the game begins at 7:30 p.m. and will air nationally on ESPNU. Fans in attendance will be treated to a highlight video chronicling the team's run to both ACC and National Championships as the team is introduced on the floor of the Comcast Center.
The week culminates Friday with the team's annual banquet, as the Terps gather once again to hand out team honors and celebrate the titles along with friends and family.
2008 Field Hockey Team Banquet Award Winners