COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The top-seeded Maryland field hockey team advanced to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament with a 4-1 win over No. 18 American Saturday in the First Round in College Park.
“This time of year, advancing is great,” head coach Missy Meharg said. “I’m very proud of the women for finding a way. American is an excellent team. Today, they came out with a very different game plan than they did when we played them earlier in the season in Washington D.C., which was very much expected because Steve Jennings is a fantastic coach. We’re just really pleased to be advancing.”
Thirteen minutes in, Dessoye put Maryland on the board first when she cracked a hard shot from the top of the circle and ricocheted in off American’s keeper. Junior Steffi Schneid picked up the assist on the play that gave the Terps a 1-0 lead.
A minute and a half after that, American (15-5) scored off a penalty corner when Alex McMackin deflected in the shot.
With 2:55 left in the first, Dessoye fed Witmer for a hard shot from the right side again that banged into the left corner of the cage. It was Witmer’s 17th goal of the year for a 3-1 lead at half.
Gerzabek added her second goal of the day with 8:55 remaining in the game. Schneid fed her a pass for a backdoor shot for the 4-1 lead.
Maryland outshot American, 8-6 and both teams had four penalty corners. Goalkeeper Natalie Hunter picked up two saves on the day.
Maryland will play either No. 8 Princeton and No. 9 Penn State, which play Saturday at 2 p.m., in Sunday’s 2 p.m. Second Round game. The winner of Sunday’s match will advance to next weekend’s NCAA Final Four in Norfolk, Va.
Tickets for Sunday’s game are still available at umterps.com. Due to a men’s basketball home game at 6 p.m. Sunday, fans should expect traffic later in the day. Maryland has reserved parking for field hockey fans in lot 11B, the lot next to the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex, but fans are encouraged to arrive early Sunday.
Sunday’s game will be streamed live online for free. Live stats will be available at umterps.com and live updates will be available at https://twitter.com/TerpFieldHockey.
Maryland collected all three of the ACC top individual honors Monday, as Jill Witmer was named Offensive Player of the Year, Ali McEvoy was named Defensive Player of the Year and Missy Meharg was named ACC Coach of the Year for the seventh time.
The Terrapins are the No. 1 in both the Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I National Coaches poll and the latest NCAA RPI rankings released Nov. 11. The Terps have held the top spot in both polls since early October.