No. 1 Terps Win Home Opener

Sept. 6, 2009

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The No. 1-ranked Maryland field hockey team won its home opener Sunday afternoon against No. 19 Michigan 4-1. The Terps moved to 4-0 on the year. Junior Katie O'Donnell led the Terps with two goals on the day.

Both teams fought hard defensively, particularly in the first half, which resulted in zeros on the scoreboard heading into the break. During the first half, the Terrapins outshot the Wolverines 10-2.

"Our defense, especially Emma Thomas and Alicia Grater, were just stellar," head coach Missy Meharg said. "Michigan was a much improved team from last year."

Maryland's senior Nicole Muracco gave the Terps the break-through score 15 minutes into the second half off a flip pass from O'Donnell in front of the goal. Her score opened the floodgates for the Terrapins as they went on to score three more times in less than six minutes.

Senior Ameliet Rischen was the next Terp to score just three minutes later. She hit the ball hard from outside the circle past Michigan's goalkeeper Paige Pickett. O'Donnell added two scores of her own. Both came off fast-breaks and as she ran past the goal, she was able to knock each one in. She is now the Terps' leader in goals (7) and points (21).

Michigan's Bain Bryn kept the Wolverines from being shut-out with a goal just over ten minutes left to play. Maryland's senior goalkeeper Alicia Grater amassed six saves in the game. She now has 25 saves on the season.

"I was really pleased with the adjustments our women made at halftime," Meharg said. "We talked about two things: 1. More defensive patience and 2. Pass on the first look. They were able to do both those things. We're just really, really pleased."

The Terrapins hosted a homecoming for the 1999 national championship team before the game and at halftime. The 1999 team beat Michigan and current coach Marcia Pankratz for the NCAA crown ten years ago.

The Maryland hockey players will head back out to the field later this week to gear up for the Terrapin Invitational tournament at home in College Park. The Terps will host No. 11 Penn State, No. 14 American and Towson for the tournament next weekend. Maryland will play Penn State at 11 a.m. next Saturday and Towson at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

- Go Terps -