Maryland Field Hockey Solidifies No. 1 Ranking With Win at Wake Forest

Sept. 23, 2006

Box Score

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Maryland field hockey team left no doubt who is the number 1 team in the nation, defeating No. 2 Wake Forest, 3-2, Saturday afternoon at Kentner Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C. The Terrapins became the first team in the nation to win 10 games and is one of only two undefeated teams remaining.

"Today's performance was a real team effort," said five-time national coach of the year Missy Meharg. "Wake Forest is a fantastic team. Maryland showed so much maturity coming from behind and then scoring in the final two minutes to win after being scored on. I am pleased with how hard we worked and really pleased with the backfield, especially."

Wake Forest (9-1, 1-1 ACC) attacked immediately after the opening whistle, taking an early 1-0 lead just one minute and four seconds into the game on a goal by Tracey Scott. The Demon Deacons seemed to be in control after that, until a penalty shot was called against them. However, NCAA and ACC Champion Maryland (10-0, 2-0 ACC) missed the free opportunity in the eighth minute, but did not take long to make up for it.

Trailing in a game for just the second time this season, senior Paula Infante (Santiago, Chile), last year's national player of the year, tried to even the score, taking a hard shot from the right side. The shot was saved by WF goalkeeper Kristina Gagliardi, but the ball rebounded back to the top of the circle where junior Janneke van Leeuwen (Hilversum, Netherlands), the 2004 Rookie of the Year, slapped it in past Gagliardi, tying the game up at 1-1 in the ninth minute. Gagliardi entered the game as the nation's goals against average leader.

Maryland took the lead on a perfectly executed play between the Rischen sisters in the 31st minute. On the restart, senior Berber Rischen (Rotterdam, Netherlands) made a precisely placed pass from outside the circle to the stick of freshman Ameliet Rischen (Rotterdam, Netherlands), deflecting the ball into the far open net.

In the second half, the Terps held on to a 2-1 advantage. But Wake Forest, who was ranked No. 1 in offense heading into the week, was not going away. Michelle Kasold also had a perfect pass on the baseline to an open Christine Suggs who scored, tying the match at 2-2.

Maryland also came into the game with a high-powered offense, which ranked No. 3 in the nation, however. Once again, Infante stirred things up on the offensive end. Infante rocketed another shot at the goalie, which was saved, but freshman Nicole Muracco (Sewell, N.J.) was in the right place at the right time and knocked in the rebound for the eventual game-winning goal with less than two minutes remaining in the game.

On the defensive end, Maryland goalie, Kathryn Masson (Richmond, British Columbia), had four saves, while the Deacon's Gagliardi registered six.

The Terrapins continue to show their offensive balance as different goal scorers have tallied goals in a game for the seventh-consecutive game.

Maryland also extends its win streak to 19 games, dating back to last season. It's the longest win streak for the Terps since 2000. The win is also the first over the Deacs for Maryland in Kentner Stadium since 1999.

The Terps remain on the road for another important ACC matchup, traveling to Virginia on Friday, Sept. 29.

#1 Maryland (10-0, 2-0 ACC)    2   1  -  3
#2 Wake Forest (9-1, 1-1 ACC)  1   1  -  2
GOALS: MD, Janneke van Leeuwen (un), 8:39; Ameliet Rischen (Berber Rischen), 30:55; Nicole Muracco (Paula Infante), 67:38. WF, Tracey Scott (un), 1:04; Christine Suggs (Michelle Kasold), 62:15. SHOTS: MD 14, WF 10. PENALTY CORNERS: MD 3, WF 7. SAVES: MD, Kathryn Masson 4 (2 GA, 70:00); WF, Kristina Gagliardi 6 (3 GA, 70:00). ATTENDANCE: 1,200.