COLLEGE PARK, Md. – No. 2 Maryland field hockey used balanced scoring and numerous offensive threats as it cruised past No. 20 New Hampshire, 8-4, in its season opener in Temple’s Conference Cup in Philadelphia Saturday afternoon.
Seven Terrapins scored in the match, with senior Jill Witmer scoring twice. Freshman Mieke Hayn and sophomore Anna Dessoye each added a goal and two assists. As a team, Maryland (1-0) dominated offensively, outshooting the Wildcats (0-1), 29-11.
“We are just really excited about our attack play,” head coach Missy Meharg said. “ I think for opening day we showed our true speed and execution we have and our variety of players up front. Both goalies did a fine job, so we will keep working with that. We had a few breakdowns in our transition to defense in the back third and credit to New Hampshire. They were exceedingly opportunistic.”
Junior Preseason All-ACC selection Maxine Fluharty scored the Terrapins’ first goal of the season just over six minutes in when she put back Witmer’s shot that was saved. Hayn notched her first career goal and made it 2-0 six minutes later when she took it all the way in from the right side and scored.
New Hampshire got on the board in the 24th minute when Megan Bozek made a penalty shot.
The Terrapins answered back with three goals in the next three minutes to make it 5-1. Witmer, also a Preseason All-ACC honoree, started the flurry when she deflected in a pass from the left side to make it 3-1. Junior Katie Gerzabek added the fourth Terps’ goal just over a minute later. Witmer struck again 70 seconds later off another feed from Hayn on the left side to make it 5-1.
Hayn added her second assist and fourth point on the day when she found Dessoye in front of the cage in the 29th minute to make it 6-1. The Wildcats added a goal from Lynne Lehman in the 33rd minute to make it 6-2 at the break.
Five minutes in to the second half, sophomore Alyssa Parker tipped in a shot from Dessoye to make it 7-2. Eighteen seconds later, UNH’s Kellie Joyce scored on a fastbreak to bring the score to 7-3. The Wildcats added their fourth goal inside the last two minutes of the game when Hannah Richard tipped in a shot to make it 7-4.
Redshirt junior Brooke Cabrera made her first career start in goal. She played the entire first half and made three saves. Senior Natalie Hunter started and played the second half and notched a save as well.
“Our goal is to pick up some counter defense structure for tomorrow’s final and get more penalty corners,” Meharg said. “We’d like to execute those. Hayley Turner’s goal on the final corner was a really good attack corner.”
The Terrapins will play the winner of the Ohio State/Temple matchup Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at Temple’s Geasey Field in Philadelphia. Live stats for the Terps’ game Sunday will be available at http://www.sidearmstats.com/temple/fhockey and live updates will be at @TerpFieldHockey. Admission is $5 for a single-day ticket and children 12 and under are free.
After this weekend’s games, the Terrapins will play at No. 8 Old Dominion Friday, Sept. 6 at 5 p.m. Maryland will host No. 17 Drexel Sunday, Sept. 8 at 2 p.m. at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex.