Nov. 3, 2008
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The top-ranked Maryland field hockey team has earned the top seed in this week's ACC Tournament thanks to a 4-1 conference season which was capped off last week with a 7-0 defeat of second-seeded North Carolina. Maryland, which is 16-2 overall, has earned a bye through the first round and will play the winner of No. 4 Virginia vs. No. 5 Duke on Friday at Jack Katz Stadium on the campus of Duke University.
The Terrapins earned the nation's top ranking thanks to an offense which boasts two of the three most prolific scorers in the country in sophomore Katie O'Donnell (Blue Bell, Pa./Wissahickon) and senior Susie Rowe (London, England/Colfe's School). Both are averaging over three points per game.
The Terps balanace that explosive offense with a stifling defense, led by Rowe and junior goalie Alicia Grater (Gilbertsville, Pa./Boyertown Area). Grater, who has started every game in goal for the Terps this season, is fourth in the nation with a 0.99 goals against average this year.
On the opposite side of the bracket, North Carolina earned a bye with the No. 2 seed in the ACC Tournament. They will face the winner of #3 Wake Forest and #6 Boston College.
All six ACC teams are ranked in the latest poll released by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association. The Terps sit atop the poll with 47 of 52 first place votes. Wake Forest is second, Duke is fourth, and North Carolina sits in sixth. Rounding out the conference is Virginia (No.13) and Boston College (No. 14).
Led by 21st-year head coach Missy Meharg, the Terps will be looking to capture their seventh ACC title, last winning it in 2005 in College Park.