Oct. 18, 2009
NEWARK, Del. - The No. 1-ranked Maryland field hockey team shut out No. 17 Delaware, 4-0, to move to 16-0 on the year, one of the best starts in school history. Senior Nicole Muracco, who recently became the Terps' all-time goal-leader, scored twice in the game and fellow senior Emma Thomas scored twice as well.
"This was a reallv strong performance. We got a lot of players in positions playing," said head coach Missy Meharg. "It was a great crowd and a really good setting for us today. We're in a really great place right now."
Thomas struck first ten minutes into the game off of a penalty corner setup by senior Alexis Pappas and junior Katie O'Donnell. Muracco scored her first goal of the day with two minutes remaining in the half with an assist from O'Donnell. Maryland led at half 2-0.
Delaware's Michelle Drummonds proved dangerous in the first half with her performance. In the second half, the Terps came ready with an answer to preserve the shut out.
Thomas' second goal was nearly a repeat of her first as she was successful after a penalty corner setup by Pappas and junior Katie O'Donnell. Thomas earned an assist on Muracco's second goal, scored with just under 20 minutes remaining in the game.
19 Terps saw action in today's game, including freshman Harriet Tibble, who scored her first career goal Friday night. Senior goalkeeper Alicia Grater notched a save on the day and redshirt - sophomore goalkeeper Melissa Vassalotti took charge of the goal for the last nine minutes of the game.
"Harriet played most of the game, which was really nice to see," Meharg said. "Melissa did a wonderful job securing the shut out."
The Terps took 21 shots, ten in the first half and 11 in the second, to the Blue Hens' five and won the penalty corner advantage, 8-2. Two of the Terrapins' goals came off penalty corner setups.
"We're just really pleased that our penalty core execution was high," Meharg said.
With O'Donnell's three assists on the day, she is currently tied with former Terp Rachel Hiskins for second on Maryland's all-time career assists list. Pappas, who notched two assists in Sunday's game, broke the top ten for single-season assists with 17 this year.
Maryland, currently ranked No. 1 in the latest Kookaburra/NFHCA Division I Coaches Poll, will head south to close out regular season ACC play at No. 2 North Carolina next weekend. These top two teams will take the field at 1 p.m. in Chapel Hill, N.C.
NOTE: Senior Nicole Muracco became Maryland's career goals leader Friday night with her two goals over No. 20 Old Dominion. She scored goals 19 and 20 on the season and 73 and 74 in her career. She surpassed Carla Tagliente's 73 goal career record, set in 2000.