Nov. 15, 2008
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The first step is out of the way for the Maryland field hockey team, which defeated Albany, 4-2, on Saturday. Senior Susie Rowe scored twice and assisted on one while senior Danielle Keeley put home the eventual game-winner early in the second half.
With the victory, Maryland will advance to meet Duke, which defeated UConn, 2-1. The Atlantic Coast Conference rivals will square off Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex in College Park.
Maryland jumped out to a 2-0 lead before ten minutes had run off the clock. Junior Nicole Muracco (Sewell, N.J./Washington Township) got the scoring started when she put home a hard shot in the middle of the circle. Muracco weaved her way into the circle and created space for herself before ripping the goal home.
Just minutes later, Susie Rowe (London, England/Colfe's School) scored the Terps' second goal. Maryland applied offensive pressure in the Albany half circle, creating confusion in the defense. Sophomore Katie O'Donnell (Blue Bell, Pa./Wissahickon) found Rowe, who poked the ball into the cage for the second goal.
Albany got their first tally late in the first half, but just three minutes after intermission, Maryland got a penalty corner and capitalized. The inbounds pass came to Rowe, who found Danielle Keeley (Elkton, Md./North East) to her left. Keeley stroked the shot past the defense and gave the Terps a 3-1 lead.
Fifteen minutes later, the Terps had another penalty corner. Already up by two, the Terps this time made some history. Junior Alexis Pappas (Mount Joy/Donegal) found Rowe, who ripped home her 25th goal of the season to make the score 4-1. With the goal, Rowe claimed sole possession of second place on the Terps' all-time single-season goals list, moving ahead of Carolina Walter (1999) and Nadine Bennett (1997), who each have 24. The only name ahead of Rowe is Lisa Buente, who put home 28 goals in the 1990 season.
Rowe is also one goal away from entering the top five on the Terps' career goals list.
The Great Danes would add a goal late in the contest, but it was far too little, too late for No. 20 Albany facing the top-ranked Terps.
Maryland's defense was dominant as usual, allowing the Great Danes just seven shots on the day. Junior Alicia Grater (Gilbertsville, Pa./Boyertown Area) was not tested often, but did register two saves on the day.
Next up for the Terps is Duke, one of only two teams to defeat Maryland this season. The Blue Devils claimed a 3-2 victory at Maryland in October on a day when the Terps were playing shorthanded, as three Terps were representing the United States at the Junior Pan-American Games in Mexico City.
Maryland and Duke will play for a berth in the Final Four at 2 p.m. Sunday. Parking at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex in College Park will be free for all attendees.
#20 Albany 1 1 - 2 #1 Maryland 2 2 - 4 GOALS: UA, Nicole Savage (un) 26:46; Jess Lindsey (Michele Polizois. MD, Nicole Muracco (un) 3:43; Susie Rowe (Katie O'Donnell) 7:19; Danielle Keeley (Susie Rowe) 38:24; Susie Rowe (Alexis Pappas) 53:29. PENALTY CORNERS: UA 1 MD 8. SAVES: UA, Ashley Ross 9 (4 GA, 70:00); MD, Alicia Grater 2 (2 GA, 70:00).