Aug. 30, 2008
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The preseason-ranked No. 2 Maryland field hockey team begins the 2008 season traveling to the Keystone State this weekend. The Terrapins face Lock Haven University for the season-opener on Sunday, August 31, then travel to No. 6 Penn State on Monday, Sept. 1, for an early test on Labor Day.
Mentored by 21st-year head coach Missy Meharg, the Terrapins are eager to get on the field to commence the season after a couple of weeks of preseason camp. Maryland returns 15 letterwinners, including nine starters, in 2008. Among the players returning are ACC Offensive Player of the Year and All-American Katie O'Donnell (Blue Bell, Pa./Wissahickon), who led the country in points per game (2.52) as a freshman. Senior captain Susie Rowe (London, England/Colfe's School) is a two-time All-American and two-time All-ACC pick and will anchor the defense this year. Despite spending most of her time in the deep defense, Rowe was tied for second on the team last year, with 2006 All-American Nicole Muracco (Sewell, N.J./Washington Township), scoring 14 goals.
Lock Haven won its second-straight Northeast Conference title last year and was picked to win its league again in 2008. The Eagles play a warm-up game before facing the Terrapins, taking on Longwood University on Saturday on a neutral site. In only three seasons at the Division I level, LHU has gone an impressive 47-16, winning three-straight league regular-season titles, earning a spot in the NCAA Tournament play-in game last year. The Eagles, who are coached by 13th-year Pat Rudy, returns an experienced core, including six seniors. Maryland takes on LHU for the first time since 1978.
Penn State upset the Terrapins in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year, advancing to the national semifinals, which were held in College Park. The Terps' are looking to avenge that loss and the Nittany Lions are looking forward to having the Terrapins on their home field for the first time since 1995. Led by 22nd-year head coach Charlene Morett, PSU returns two All-Americans this season and the Big Ten's saves leader in goal. It opens the season with a tough challenge against No. 8 Old Dominion on Saturday, before hosting Maryland on Monday.
Sunday's game at Lock Haven is scheduled for noon, while Monday's game at PSU begins at 5 p.m.