Terps In Rio

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Holy Day Five! No disrespect to the other days (or even the negative days), but man was this one to remember. We’ll tell you why below.

We are midway through week one. How is everyone feeling? Good? Lets get it poppin.

Bam, Witmer Lead USA FIeld Hockey past Japan

It was only a matter of time before our field hockey Terps got on the board, and boy did they do it in a big way in Wednesday’s rout of Japan. BAM BAM Katie Bam threw down a casual hat trick and Jill Witmer scored her first career Olympic goal in Team USA’s comprehensive 6-1 rout of Japan on Wednesday.

Bam’s goal doubled the USA lead in the fifth minute. Michelle Vittese struck a hard pass from the right side to Bam who redirected the ball into the top shelf of the net. The United States dominated the first half and led 3-0 at the break.

Witmer picked up her first-ever Olympic goal in the 36th minute. Kat Sharkey made a driving run towards goal and laid the ball off to Witmer who coolly held off a Japanese defender before depositing the ball past the keeper.

But it was Bam who stole the headlines with one of the best individual goals of the Olympics so far in the 53rd minute. The USA forward received the ball near the top of the circle and weaved past multiple Japanese defenders before ripping a backhanded shot past the keeper and into the left corner of the cage.

Check this out. I mean c’mon Katie. That’s unfair.

Bam finished off her hat trick in the 55th minute off an assist from Sharkey. We’ll let Katie take it from here with some post match comments about her hat trick.

"I'm not sure it has sunk in yet," said Bam. "It doesn't feel different from any other game. That's how our coaches prepared us. That no match is different than any other match we have played before. We come in attacking it the same way we always have and always will. Today my hands were feeling great and I managed to find those tight spaces in front of the cage. And in all honesty, I managed to find those spaces in other Olympic games and haven't put them away. Today I'm glad I was able to switch that."

Bam is now the joint top scorer in the tournament. Team USA’s next match comes Thursday against India at 6:30 p.m. The action will be shown live on NBCSN.

Arias, Colombia eliminated in group stage

Nataly Arias’ Olympic journey has come to an end. Despite a hard fought 2-2 draw against the United State, Colombia was eliminated after earning just one point in the group stage.

For her part, Arias played every minute of Olympic action in defense and performed well. After two Olympics and two World Cups, she is firmly entrenched as one of Maryland women’s soccer’s most accomplished international players.

Ibekwe, Nigeria fall to 0-2

Ekene Ibekwe and Nigeria improved in their second group game, but were dispatched by Lithunania, 89-80. Ibekwe played 13 minute and score five points.

Nigeria is back in action against Spain Thursday at 6 p.m. The game can be seen live on the Olympic Basketball Channel.

That’s it for now. We’ll be back Thursday with more field hockey and some #TerpsTrending madness!

Until next time, we love the foil, but it’s okay if you love the epee.


Did you miss us? We here at Terps in Rio Headquarters had a case of the Mondays and were MIA. With no blog, we looked a little bit like this.

Now we look like this!

It’s Day Four and we are sleep deprived.

But its Olympics sleep deprivation.

Day 4 - Can Anyone Stop USA field hockey?

You know what’s a good encore to beating the No. 2 team in the world? Beating No. 3 in the world. That is what the USA did Monday with a 2-0 win over a strong Australia side to move to 2-0 in group play.

Non-Terps Michelle Vittese and Caitlin Van Sickle tallied the goals for the Americans. Actual Terp Katie Bam contributed on both goals, drawing the penalty corner that led to the opening goal before sending a cross from the left side of the field that Van Sickle tipped past the keeper for the second tally. Bam has been dangerous throughout the tournament and looks on the verge of netting a goal herself.

Jill Witmer did not start, but was on the field for the second goal. The USA still sits second in Group B behind Great Britain goal differential. Those two teams will face off Saturday. In the meantime, the Stars and Stripes will clash with Japan Wednesday at 4 p.m. There are a lot of channels showing Olympics right now, but NBCSN is your spot for that match, with providing streaming coverage if that’s your cup of tea. 

Ibekwe, Nigeria fall to Argentina

Ekene Ibekwe and his squad ran into a tough opening game of its Olympic run and fell 94-66 to Argentina Sunday night.

Ibekwe played 16 minutes and scored four points. Nigeria’s second contest is going on as we type against Lithuania, which formerly featured Terp great Sarunas Jasikevicius. 

#TerpsTrending Social Media Post of the Day

We here in the Terps in Rio headquarters realize the people were denied social media greatness yesterday. We did that. It’s our fault. So here’s a special edition with more than one tweet!

How bout our friends at Terps Volleyball! Showing so much Olympic spirit. Or maybe it’s Matt Anderson spirit. Regardless, this is for an awesome cause and you should see it. 

Great stuff. Make sure to click that link and support autism awareness. But wait there’s more volleyball!

Coach Aird knows people, man. In fact, not only is his bud Matt in the Olympics, but one of Aird’s former charges at Penn State, Alisha Glass, is on the USA women’s volleyball squad. Connections galore, which brings us to our next segment…

Six degrees of "terperation"

NEW FEATURE. We love our current Terp Olympians. They are awesome. But it’s also worth recognizing other members of the Maryland family with connections to the games. Hence the Six Degrees of Terperation! Sounded better in our heads.

We’ll start with shall we say the largest of our Olympians. 

There he is! Maryland wrestling head coach Kerry McCoy was a two-time Olympian, placing fifth at the 2000 games in Sydney before taking seventh in Athens in 2004.

He also wore awesome hats! Don’t hurt em, coach!

Being an Olympian is an incredible achievement. Going twice? That’s really special. Tip of the cap to Coach McCoy on his fantastic international career.

What to Watch for

Everybody has field hockey fever at this point, so we say watch that. The USA will take on Japan at 4 p.m. Wednesday on NBCSN.

That’s it for now. Until next time, love the live, judge the tape delay. 


Is there really much to say? A statement, with a pair of Terps among the crafters, was made on Day One. Lets get right into it.

Day 2 - USA Field Hockey Topples Argentina, 2-1

Starts really don’t get much better than this. Staring down the No. 2 team in the world in its opening game of pool play, USA Field Hockey made its intentions of a podium finish more based in reality than expectation with a crucial 2-1 win over Argentina Saturday afternoon.

After a quick start from the Argentinian side, the USA took more control of the match in the second quarter. Former Terp Katie Bam was stifled on an initial one-on-one opportunity with the keeper in the 24th minutes, but recovered with a lifted shot that hit the outside of the left post. The first half would end with the two teams knotted at 0-0.

The United States took the lead on a low shot from Katie Reinprecht that deflected off the Argentinian keeper and went in. The USA continued its aggressive attacking play and eventually found a second tally when Michelle Kasold deflected Rachel Dawson’s initial effort in. Argentina pulled a goal back in the 57th minute, but the USA held on in the final moments to take the victory.

Maryland’s pair of players were crucial to the USA’s effort throughout. Bam was a dangerous attacking threat while Jill Witmer’s speed troubled the Argentinian defense.

Sitting atop of Group B with Great Britain, the USA’s road gets no easier when it takes on world No. 3 Argentina on Monday. Action is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. and can been seen live on NBCSN.

Arias, Colombia dropped by New Zealand

The road for Colombia to advance on to the knockout round of the Olympics became much harder after a 1-0 defeat to New Zealand. A 31st minute strike from Amber Hearn gave New Zealand a lead it would not relinquish.

The Colombian side was more dangerous on the attack than in its opening match against France, but are still looking for its first goal in Olympics competition. With a contest against reigning gold medalists USA on the horizon, the squad will need a massive upset win and some help to advance through to the next round.

For her part, Nataly Arias has played 90 minutes in the first two matches and helped the Colombians put forth a better defensive performance Saturday night.

Journey to the rings: Ekene Ibekwe

The “Journey to the Rings” series is tasked with informing the people (we do it for the people) about the roads our respective Terp Olympians have made to reach sports’ ultimate peak.

While they have all been interesting tales, Mr. Ibekwe’s journey is just that. A journey. Look at this list of countries he’s played in.

Puerto Rico
Turkey again
Israel again
Germany again
New Zealand
Puerto Rico again
Germany again
Czech Republic

We hope Ekene had his frequent flier miles going for all those trips. The man has traversed the globe playing professional basketball and forged a solid career. Here he is burying a buzzer beater to help the New Zealand Breakers win the NBL title in 2015. We love this announcer. 

That sounded fun. As a Terp, Ibekwe was a consistent contributor throughout his four seasons, and was an All-ACC Honorable Mention selection as a senior. He helped the Terps reach the NCAA Tournament in 2004 and 2007 and finished his career with over 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 200 blocks.

Ibekwe has been a mainstay with the Nigerian National Team since his college days and appeared in the 2012 Olympics with the squad. He is back again in 2016 with a team that will look to improve on a 1-4 performance four years ago.

Nigeria sits in Group B, away from the heavy favorite United States, but up against world powers such as Spain and Argentina along with the hosts Brazil. After a career filled with travel, travel and more travel, Ekene Ibekwe will take the court tonight and become Maryland basketball’s second-ever two-time Olympian (Sarunas Jasikevicius went to four). In a program with greats on greats, that is pretty special.

#TerpSTrending Post of the Day

Coach Steve Aird and his volleyball team get underway in a few weeks. Right now though, it seems another sport has caught the third-year man’s eye.

What to watch for

Ekene Ibekwe and the Nigerian National Team open play with San Antonio Spurs star Manu Ginobili and Argentina tonight at 9:30 p.m. on the Olympic Basketball Channel.

That is all for now. Until next time, make sure to check out Ekene tonight. Also, rest those remote fingers when you get a chance. Cause full disclosure, we might not be able to move them over here. 



Sorry. We here at Terps in Rio headquarters are over the moon that we have our first full day of action in Rio. No more negative time, and much more trying to flip between seven hundred events going on at the same time. But have no fear! We’ve got you covered with all the Terp goings on following the Opening Ceremony Friday night.

Day 1 - Journey to the rings: Katie Bam/Jill witmer

Katie Bam is really legit.

The most decorated player in Maryland field hockey history, Bam was destined for the Olympics before she found her way to College Park. The Blue Bell, Pa., native made her first US Senior National team appearance at the age of 16, becoming the youngest player ever selected for the squad. SIXTEEN!! What were you doing at 16? (You don’t have to answer).

That’s legit.

Bam (formerly O’Donnell) set the college field hockey world on fire as a Terrapin, setting six school records over the course of her career and leading Maryland to a pair of national titles. She was a four-time first-team All-American, two-time National Player of the Year and won the 2011 Honda Award.

Once again, so legit.

Since graduation, Bam has been a mainstay with the US National Team, securing over 200 caps and participating in the London Olympics in 2012. She’s helped lead the United State to two Pan American gold medals and a bronze at the 2016 Champions Trophy tournament.

In the 2015 Pan-Am games, Bam scored four goals in the tournament to help the United States eventually defeat Argentina in the final to qualify for Rio. That put Bam on her second consecutive Olympic team.

Too legit.

Finally… Katie Bam can clap with one hand!

Is there anything she can’t do? Make sure to watch Katie, cause probably not.

Fantastically, Stupendously, Tremendously… Legit.

Jill Witmer is also fantastic at field hockey. We here at Terps in Rio think Maryland fans probably remember this.

Yep. Ms. Witmer had the national title on her stick and delivered, and that’s not all she did in College Park. She was a four-time All-American and won ACC Offensive Player of the Year honors her senior season. In addition, Witmer was named a finalist for the Honda Award.

A fearless attacker with speed to burn, Jill has since made her mark with the national team, securing 78 caps since her debut in 2013. She has also been able to train near home, as the USA Field Hockey training center is based in her hometown of Lancaster, Pa.

Remember when we said our good friend Katie Bam helped the US secure its spot in Rio with a four-goal performance at the 2015 Pan-American Games. Well, Witmer was of great assistance to the Stars and Stripes too; with five goals.

Now Witmer has made her first Olympic team, and we’d be pretty surprised if she didn’t make a serious impact on Team USA’s run towards a medal.

Other Fun Bam/Witmer Things

USA Field Hockey’s ongoing “Chasing the Dream” series profiled Bam and Witmer. Also check out a profile of you assistant coach Stephanie Fee

Witmer and Bam featured in STX Field Hockey’s #MyRoadToRio Promo 

Other cool things Katie Bam can do

follow Katie and jill
USA vs. Argentina
Aug. 6. 4 p.m. ET
USA | Stream
USA vs. Australia
Aug. 8. 9 a.m. ET
NBCSN | Stream
USA vs. Japan
Aug. 10. 4:15 p.m. ET
NBCSN | Stream
USA vs. India
Aug. 11. 6:30 p.m. ET
NBCSN | Stream
USA vs. Great Britain
Aug. 13. 5:00 p.m. ET
CNBC | Stream

outfit of the Opening Ceremony 

Every Opening Ceremony brings a fantastic kaleidoscope of colors as each country enters the stadium during the parade of nations. It also allows to the world to attack each other's fashion sense! Nothing wrong with that.

So did we have Terp involved in this mishmash of blazers and more blazers? Oh yeah!! That's track and field's own Thea LaFond killing the game in some traditional garb of the country of Dominica. Thea gets her own competition underway next week, but she's pretty much won the Terps In Rio fashion battle after day one. Well. Done. 

#TerpsTrending post of the day

Gameday. Nuff said.

Its finally here! GAMEDAY vs Argentina. 🇺🇸

A photo posted by Jill Witmer (@jillwitmerfh) on Aug 6, 2016 at 4:36am PDT

What to watch for

USA Field Hockey gets underway with a huge opening match against rival Argentina. Coverage begins at 4 p.m. on USA or you can stream the match live on

Nataly Arias and Colombia take on New Zealand in a crucial Group G affair at 7 p.m. You can stream the match live on or watch it on tape delay at 11 p.m. on the Olympic Soccer Channel. 

The Olympics have started and we've got Terps on the docket. We'll see you tomorrow to recap all the action. In the mean time, we've got women's air rifle to watch.

Yeah, really. 


Didn’t you miss this?

Yep, day (negative) 2 is in the books and the sights and sounds of the Olympics are back. A full slate of women’s soccer matches was our first taste of action and it featured a Terp take the field. We’ll recap that, feature a brand new story on two field hockey standouts and see Micha Powell… on Entertainment Tonight?

One more day of negative time remains. Lets roll.

Day (negative) 1 - Arias, Colombia fall in opening match

Entering action Wednesday, the reigning World Cup champions United States and France were considered the cream of the crop of Group G and expected to qualify for the knockout round. However, in a forgiving group stage that sees 8-of-12 teams advance, Nataly Arias and her Colombian side’s chances for advancement looked to be predicated on being one of the top two third place teams among the three Olympic groups.

A result Wednesday night against the French in Belo Horizonte would have been a bonus before Saturday’s key match against New Zealand. Arias nabbed a start in the center of defense, but an early second minute own goal off the leg of Carolina Arias gave France an early advantage. Subsequent first half goals from Eugenie Le Sommer and Camille Abily put the game out of reach as the French rolled to a 4-0 victory.

With the USA taking out New Zealand, 2-0, earlier in the day, Colombia dropped to bottom of the group on goal difference. Arias and her side will next face New Zealand Saturday in Belo Horizonte. That match will most likely decide the squad’s knockout round fate.

Bam, Witmer Profiled in feature

In writing that is probably better than what you’ll see here at Terps in Rio, our guy Patrick Stevens examined Katie Bam and Jill Witmer’s road to Rio and what they hope to accomplish at the games.

Check out that story here.

#TerpsTrending Post of the day

Rising senior Micha Powell started running track as a senior in high school because people kept telling her she was fast. Now she’s an Olympian. Looks like those people were right.

But is our only current student-athlete/Olympian also destined for greatness in another field? After this feature from ET Canada, Micha may just be moving from the track to the red carpet when it is all said and done.


No Terps in action today so enjoy a full schedule of men's soccer as we creep ever closer to tomorrow's official kickoff of the games; the Opening Ceremony. It is gonna a party.


First, a brief introduction. Over the next 19 days, will provide daily updates on Maryland’s six Olympians competing in four different sports. The Terps in Rio Blog will be your one stop shop for everything involving Maryland and the Games of the XXXI Olympiad (we’ll only use that technical title this once).

You may be thinking, why is this starting on Wednesday? Don’t the Olympics begin with the biggest party of the summer, the Opening Ceremony, on Friday? Nope. Soccer opens the games Wednesday so that the entire tournament can be played in full. That means we are gonna need a couple negative days!

We here at Terps in Rio embrace this new found negative time and would like to take you to Belo Horizonte the because a certain Terp is ready for her second straight Olympics

Ready for the best two weeks in sports? Yeah? Lets do this.

Day (negative) 2 - Journey to the Rings: Nataly arias

One of the most prolific international players in Maryland women’s soccer history, Nataly Arias (‘08) will suit up for her third straight major tournament following an appearances in the 2012 London Olympics and last summer’s Women’s World Cup in Canada.

A four-year starter who played her final season in 2008, Arias played 71 games and scored 12 goals with seven assists for her career. She ranks seven all-time in shots (148) in Maryland history and was a team captain her final season.

As a freshman, Arias starred in Maryland’s run to the Sweet 16, earning freshman All-American honors. Her most prolific goal scoring season came in 2007 when she bagged five goals. Following graduation, Arias had a brief stint with the Washington Freedom in the now defunct Women’s Professional Soccer, but was unable to catch on with another team in the United State.

On account of her mother’s Colombian birth, Arias was eligible for the national team and played her first tournament for Las Cafeteras at Copa America in 2010 in Ecuador. Arias has not looked back, appearing 58 times, primarily in the back, and starting seven World Cup matches over two tournaments.

Arias has also been a threat near goal. She has notched six international tallies including this straight up wonder strike against Argentina at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. Colombia would go on to take the silver medal.

At the 2015 World Cup, Arias helped Colombia make its first-ever appearance in the knockout round. The squad upset world No. 3 France in the group stage before bowing out to the United State in the Round of 16. 

Colombia will face an uphill battle in Rio after being drawn into Group G with the United States, France and New Zealand and Arias’ experience will be key if the squad is to advance to the knockout phase.   

TerpNation, make sure to check out Nataly tonight at 9 p.m. as Colombia opens against France. The game will be broadcast live on NBCSN and Colombia's full schedule with broadcast information can be found below.

follow nataly
Colombia vs. France
Aug. 3. 9 p.m. ET
NBCSN | Stream
Colombia vs. New Zealand
Aug. 6. 7 p.m. ET
Columbia vs. USA
Aug. 9. 6 p.m. ET
NBCSN | Stream

#TerpSTrending Post of the Day

Each day, we here at Terps in Rio will bring you the best of Maryland related social media. It could come from our Olympians, or who knows, we might just have some people back here in College Park that have Olympic ties. 

Today we feature (shocker) Nataly Arias! She and her Colombia teammates look pretty excited to be in Brazil.

 That's all for now. Until next time, throw some Bugler's Dream on your headphones. It's Olympics time.