Feb. 11, 2011
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The defending national champion Maryland women's lacrosse team begins the 2011 campaign Sunday with a road tilt at Richmond at 2 p.m.
The Terps, who were tabbed No. 1 in the first editions of the IWLCA and Inside Lacrosse polls of the season, trounced Richmond in the 2010 season opener, 17-7.
Umterps.com will be at Robins Stadium with a live interactive blog to kick off the season.
THEY'RE BACK - TITLE TERPS READY TO DEFEND CROWN
Maryland is looking to extend its nation-topping numbers by garnering its 27th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and 12th national title in 2011. While the absence of Tewaaraton winner Caitlyn McFadden and IWLCA National Defender of the Year Karissa Taylor will undoubtedly leave a void, 2010 IWLCA National Coach of the Year Cathy Reese and the Terps look forward to filling the gaps with a mix of old and new to create yet another national champion contending unit for the 2011 season.
Three IWLCA All-Americans return for the defending national champion Terps, including senior attacker Sarah Mollison, junior attacker Karri Ellen Johnson and sophomore midfielder Katie Schwarzmann. Johnson has been pegged by Lacrosse Magazine as its preseason national player of the year.
Top defender Katie Gallagher is a welcomed back-addition to the roster after serving a redshirt season during the Terrapins' run to the crown in 2010.
The Terps home schedule will be an exciting one as Maryland welcomes the likes of Penn State, Duke, Syracuse, Penn and North Carolina to the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex.
Richmond went 10-9 a year ago, including a 6-1 clip in conference play.
The Spiders, who return nine letterwinners from that squad, will be led by reigning A-10 Midfielder of the Year Mary Flowers. Flowers paced the team in offense in goals (55) and was ranked nationally in groundballs and caused turnovers.
Following Sunday's match, Richmond travels to No. 3 North Carolina and No. 4 Duke.
Former Terp Kelly Kasper has joined the Spiders' coaching staff this season as an assistant.
Maryland defeated Richmond, 17-7, in its season opener last season amid piles of snow left over from one of two blizzards to hit the region last winter. Brandi Jones and Karri Ellen Johnson each had hat tricks to lead the Terps.
WHAT A RIDE...
Maryland captured its 10th NCAA crown when it staged an incredible comeback from a 6-0 deficit against five-time defending champion Northwestern in the national title game to conclude the 2010 season.
It was Maryland's first NCAA title since 2001. The game was played in front a record-crowd totaling nearly 10,000 people.
RED, WHITE & BLUE TERPS
When the Terps tangled with the U.S. this preseason, they were without the services of key players Katie Schwarzmann and Brittany Poist.
Schwarzmann, an IWLCA Second Team All-American and the ACC Rookie of the Year in 2010, is in her first full season with U.S. Senior National Team. She joins her older sister, Lauren, on the squad.
Poist is also experiencing her first action with the U.S. Senior National Team. A transfer from the University of Louisville, Poist played an integral role for Maryland as a junior, helping lead the nation's top defense.
Former Terps Acacia Walker and Caitlyn McFadden are also on the U.S. National Team.
GALLAGHER RETURNS FOR DEFENSE
After serving a redshirt season during Maryland's run to the national title in 2010, Katie Gallagher returns to action in 2011 to help rejuvenate a defense that will be without the services of departing seniors Abby Caso and Karissa Taylor.
Gallagher is entering her third season as a starter and has totaled 24 caused turnovers and 33 ground balls since her arrival to College Park in the 2007 season.
.KEJ TABBED PRESEASON BEST
Junior attacker Karri Ellen Johnson has been named Lacrosse Magazine's NCAA Division I Preseason Player of the Year, announced by the publication Monday.
Johnson, a local product from Annapolis, has amassed 143 goals in only two seasons in College Park. She capped last year's magical run to the program's 10th NCAA championship by scoring three times in the Terps' 13-11 win over five-time defending champion Northwestern in the NCAA final.
The two-time IWLCA All-American needs a mere six goals to land on Maryland's top ten career goals list.
THE YOUNG AND TALENTED
Four freshmen once again represented the University of Maryland well when they played in the 2010 Under Armour All-America Game.
Brooke Griffin led all South scorers with three goals as the North edged the South.
Beth Glaros, Amalie Trentzsch and Kelsey Horton all earned starts and joined Griffin.
Horton tallied a team-high four assists on the day, including two to Griffin, while adding a goal. Glaros scooped a ground ball and the combo of Griffin and Horton gathered a combined six draw controls in the all-star action.
REESE RETURNS FOR FIFTH SEASON
Head coach Cathy Reese returns for her fifth season at her alma mater.
2010 IWLCA National Coach of the Year
2007, 2009, and 2010 ACC Coach of the Year
2009, 2010 ACC Champions
Coached 2008, 2007, 2009 and 2010 ACC Player of the Year, 2009 and 2010 ACC Rookie of the Year, one Tewaaraton Award winner, 14 All-Americans, and 15 All-ACC selections
2009 and 2010 IWLCA South Region Coach of the Year
Won eight national championships at Maryland as a player and coach (1995-2001, 2010)
Maryland boasts three players from countries outside the U.S., including captains Sarah Mollison (Australia) and Laura Merrifield (England).
A transfer from Cal-Berkley, Camilla Hayes joins Merrifield as a representative from England.
SMALLS DISHIN' IT OUT
Sarah Mollison is looking to add her name to the Maryland career assists list this season.
The senior from Melbourne, Australia, needs only three assists to land on the top ten. Her 38 helpers in 2009 rank eighth all-time in Terrapin single-season history.
Cathy Reese has named seniors Sarah Mollison, Katie Gallagher and Laura Merrifield captains for the 2011 campaign.
Mollison served as captain last year as a junior, helping lead Maryland to its first national championship since 2001. The attacker was third on the team last season with 45 goals. The Melbourne, Australia, native is a two-time All-American and returns for her third season as a starter.
Gallagher missed last season with an illness but is poised to lead the Terrapin defense in 2011. One of Maryland's strongest players, Gallagher is a three-year starter for the Terps and played a key role in the squad capturing the 2009 ACC Championship.
Merrifield has been a steady force in the midfield for Maryland since her arrival. As one of the tallest players in the country, she brings an imposing stature to the Terps' offensive scheme and also boasts the speed to allow Maryland to run its fast-paced style of play.
TERPS LAX - A FAMILY AFFAIR
Maryland freshmen Abbey Clipp and Annie Farrell have a family link to the Terps.
Clipp's sister Becky is a former All-American for the women's lacrosse program. Farrell's brother, Brian, is an All-American long pole for the Terrapin men's lacrosse unit.
TERPS RACK UP SEVENTH ACC CHAMPIONSHIP
Led by five points from Caitlyn McFadden and a career-high 12 saves from Brittany Dipper, Maryland upended No. 1 North Carolina, 10-5, to win its second consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference Championship title in 2010.
UNC was held to its lowest goal output of the year while Brittany Poist led the Terrapin defense with two ground balls and two caused turnovers. Maryland, which has played host to the ACC Women's Lacrosse Championship twice, has won the tournament in both attempts with defeats of Carolina in the title game on each occasion.
McFadden was tabbed tournament most valuable player while teammates Dipper, Karri Ellen Johnson, Sarah Mollison, Laura Merrifield, and Karissa Taylor joined her on the all-tournament team.
PROTECT THIS HOUSE
Maryland is 40-1 at home under fourth-year head coach Cathy Reese.
The Terps have won all five games in which they have played an opponent ranked No. 1 or No. 2 at home in the past four seasons and have done it in three different locations.
The Terps are 180-15 in College Park dating back to 1990 with 12 perfect seasons in that span.
Records of home and away games are incomplete from 1974-89.
COLLEGE PARK - STREAK CITY
Maryland's Sarah Mollison and Karri Ellen Johnson each possess scoring streaks which rank among the best nationally.
Johnson and Mollison's boast a string of 45 consecutive games with either an assist or a goal. Johnson also owns the second-longest goal scoring streak after scoring in all 45 games she has appeared in as a Terp.