Oct. 19, 2008
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - On a football Sunday, the Maryland field hockey team won by a touchdown, shutting out the visiting Delaware Blue Hens, 7-0. The Terrapins were led by sophomore Katie O'Donnell, who scored three goals, and senior Emma Thomas, who tallied two.
After mounting a second-half comeback to earn a 2-1 win over Old Dominion on Friday, the Terps (14-2, 3-1 ACC) wasted little time getting on the board Sunday. Just more than three minutes into the game, Maryland capitalized on one of five first-half penalty corners, as Emma Thomas (High Wycombe, England/Wycombe) took a pass from senior Susie Rowe (London, England/Colfe's School) and sent it rattling into the cage.
Just over two minutes later, Rowe rocketed another shot on goal which was deflected away by Delaware goalie Nikki Rhoades. The bouncing ball was controlled by senior Sarah Scholl (Center Valley, Pa./Southern Lehigh), who popped it into the near side of the cage to put Maryland up, 2-0.
Delaware got its first serious scoring opportunity soon thereafter, as Tori Karsten's shot was saved by junior goalie Alicia Grater (Gilbertsville, Pa./Boyertown Area). Maryland could not control the ball, though, and Delaware appeared to knock it home, but the officials ruled that the ball went off Karsten's leg and into the goal, therefore disallowing the score.
The ruling killed what little momentum the Blue Hens had started to gain, and the Terps went back to work. On another penalty corner, Katie O'Donnell (Blue Bell, Pa./Wissahickon) sent the ball to the top of the key, where Rowe took it and sent it right back to O'Donnell. The sophomore forward beat Rhoades to her left for her first score of the day.
If Delaware harbored any hopes of coming back in the contest, Susie Rowe snuffed them out in emphatic fashion. With the Terps once again in control and driving into the Delaware half circle, junior Kristina Foster (Tabernacle, N.J./Shawnee) found Rowe at the top of the half circle. Rowe launched a missile to the cage. The sound echoed through the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex as the Terps went up, 4-0.
Rowe's shot was so impressive that O'Donnell had to try to replicate it. Just 24 seconds later, O'Donnell found herself with some room in nearly the same spot Rowe had been, and sent a liner of her own past Rhoades. In a matter of seconds, the Terps had added two blistering goals and opened the score up to 5-0.
Soon after Maryland scored its fifth goal, Delaware pulled Rhoades in favor of freshman goalie Noelle Diana. As the Terps shuffled their entire bench in and out of the game throughout the rest of the first and beginning of the second half, Diana and the Blue Hens defense finally slowed the Terrapins' offensive attack.
With just over ten minutes remaining, though, Maryland found an answer for the adjustments Delaware had made. On another penalty corner, senior Ellen Ott (Schwenksville, Pa./Perkioman Valley) gained control of the starting pass and sent a roller to the left side. Rowe faked a shot but let the ball trickle through to Thomas, whose hard shot skipped by Diana, putting Maryland up 6-0.
O'Donnell closed the scoring when she once again created some space for herself near the top of the half circle and beat the Delaware defense with a shot that was too hard to handle, adding the extra point for the final score of 7-0.
Nearly lost in the offensive outpouring was another superb performance by the Maryland defense. The Terps have now allowed no more than one goal in each of their last four games, earning two shutouts in that stretch. Maryland allowed Delaware only two shots in the contest, both saved by Terrapin goalies. Grater, who registered a save on the Delaware chance in the first half, earned a rest in the second half as freshman goalie Melissa Vassalotti (Huntingdon Valley, Pa./Saint Basil Academy) registered a save of her own and completed the shutout.
Maryland will now turn its sights towards a matchup with No. 5 North Carolina next Saturday at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex. The start time is scheduled for 1:00 p.m., in time to give Terrapin fans a chance to take in the big game before the Terps' football game at 3:30 p.m. Admission will be free. All fans will be directed to park in Lot 4i, where parking will be available for $15.
Delaware (3-12, 2-3 CAA) 0 0 - 0 #2 Maryland (14-2, 3-1 ACC) 5 2 - 7
GOALS: UD, none. MD, Emma Thomas (Susie Rowe), 3:13; Sarah Scholl (un), 5:54; Katie O'Donnell (Susie Rowe), 10:02; Susie Rowe (Kristina Foster), 14:15; Katie O'Donnell (un), 14:39; Emma Thomas (Ellen Ott), 59:44; Katie O'Donnell (un), 65:09). PENALTY CORNERS: UD 1, MD 10 SAVES: UD, Nikki Rhoades 5 (5 GA, 18:51), Noelle Diane 2 (2 GA, 51:09); MD, Alicia Grater 1 (0 GA, 35:00, Melissa Vassalotti 1 (0 GA, 35:00). ATTENDANCE: 315