Aug. 27, 2010
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - The Maryland field hockey team opened its season Friday night with a 4-2 win over No. 11 Drexel in Philadephia. The Terps, ranked second nationally, won their season opener for the 13th consecutive year.
"We're excited to get the season underway," head coach Missy Meharg said. "It's a long preseason and the opener starts the whole tournament. It's a three and a half month tournament and Maryland will stay very focused and in the present. We'll enjoy the process and just keep developing."
Maryland held Drexel to just two shots in the first half and nine overall in the game. The Terps got nine shots off in the first period and 16 total. As the 2010 season begins, the Terrapins look to build as a strong defensive unit.
"Drexel is an exceedingly and vigilantly competitive unit. I am so proud of Maryland for being a new backfield. They really flew at us with a lot of numbers and a lot of high-risk and attacking hockey. I'm just overly pleased with our mentality and we're looking forward to taking it a step further," Meharg said.
Sophomore Janessa Pope scored the first goal of the 2010 year off a breakaway assist from senior Katie O'Donnell. Sophomore Megan Frazer created an opportunity when she cleared the ball from in front of the Dragons' goal to O'Donnell near midfield who passed it on to Pope. The Terps took a 1-0 lead just under six minutes into the game.
Less than three minutes later, freshman Jill Witmer knocked in a tip from junior Jemma Buckley. O'Donnell scored on a deflection from Frazer on a penalty corner just before halftime to take a 3-0 lead at the break.
With just under 20 minutes to play, Drexel's Kim Tunell put the Dragons on the board off a penalty corner setup from Christina Mastropaolo and Sofia Sanguinett to make the score 3-1.
The Dragons struck again with six minutes remaining as Mastropaolo scored off a steal and a shot from the right side. Jen Cairone notched the assist on the play.
With a 3-2 lead, the Terps were awarded a penalty corner opportunity with just over a minute to play. Buckley scored after O'Donnell inserted and junior Lauren Barr stopped the ball to finalize the score at 4-2.
Redshirt junior Melissa Vassalotti earned her first start in goal Friday night. She notched four saves on the night.
The Terrapins' game Sunday vs. Villanova has been moved to 11 a.m. as part of the Temple Invitational tournament.
The 11 a.m. game will be played at Geasey Field. Admission will be $3 for all fans.
Live stats will not be available for Sunday's game, but the game will be broadcast live at WMUCSports.com.
NOTE: Senior Katie O'Donnell was named one of ten finalists for the Women's Sports Foundation Sportswoman of the Year award. Please visit www.womenssportsfoundation.org before Aug. 31 to vote for O'Donnell!