GREENSBORO, N.C. – The top-ranked Maryland field hockey team collected three of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s four top individual honors Monday. 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.
A native of Lancaster, Pa., Witmer finished second in the league in points and goals despite missing three games while competing with the USA National Team in the the Pan American Games in September. Witmer notched her league-leading seventh game-winning score in the ACC Championship game and was named as the ACC Tournament Most Valuable Player. A four-time All-ACC honoree, she is the first Terrapin to garner ACC Offensive Player of the Year accolades since Katie O’Donnell won the award four times between 2007-10.
McEvoy led a Terrapin defensive unit that posted seven shutouts, including a 2-0 win over No. 3 North Carolina in the ACC title game Sunday in Boston. A native of Gilbertsville, Pa., McEvoy was named to the All-ACC First Team and was selected to the ACC All-Tournament Team. She is the first Terrapin to win the award since Emma Thomas in 2009.
Meharg led the Terrapins to a 20-1 record, a perfect 6-0 mark in conference play, and the 10th ACC Championship in program history, after finishing third in the league in 2012. The Terrapins earned the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament in their 19th consecutive postseason appearance.
Maryland earned the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament bracket released Sunday night. The Terrapins will play the winner of a play-in game between Quinnipiac and American Saturday at 11:30 a.m. in College Park.
No. 6 Penn State (13-5) and No. 9 Princeton (13-4) will also come to the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex for the NCAA First and Second Rounds. The Tigers and the Nittany Lions will meet at 2 p.m. Saturday, after the Terrapins’ matchup vs. the Bobcats (14-6) or the Eagles (14-5). The winners of Saturday’s games will play at 2 p.m. Sunday.
For tickets to the weekend’s games, log on to umterps.com.
Maryland (20-1) scored twice in the second half Sunday to win its 10th ACC championship. Tournament MVP Jill Witmer scored four minutes into the second half. With 26 minutes to go, Anna Dessoye sent in a shot off a rebound for the two-goal lead.
The Terrapins are the unanimous No. 1 in both the Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I National Coaches poll and the latest NCAA RPI rankings released Nov. 5. The Terps have held the top spot in both polls since early October.