Sept. 25, 2010
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The Maryland field hockey team, ranked No. 2 in the latest Kookaburra / NFHCA Division I National Coaches Poll, held off No. 8 Wake Forest 5-3 Saturday afternoon in Winston-Salem, N.C. The Terrapins (8-0, 2-0) earned their sixth straight win over the Demon Deacons (6-3, 1-1), dating back to 2007.
"The team really grew today," head coach Missy Meharg said. "We played in and out of a couple systems. I was very impressed with Wake Forest and I was really pleased with our pressing. We had great pressing from five forwards. Our team attack was just brilliant and our team defense was quite good. We're growing and we're looking forward to Princeton."
Four Terrapins scored in the win. Freshman Jill Witmer, the reigning ACC Player of the Week, led the way with two goals, including the game winner. Sophomore Kirstie Dennig, junior Jemma Buckley and senior Katie O'Donnell each scored as well.
"It was great to see Jill Witmer come out against another ACC team and have two goals," Meharg said.
Dennig's goal opened a three-goal run of scoring between the teams just before halftime. After 28 minutes of scoreless play, Dennig deflected in Buckley's shot on a penalty corner to give the Terps the 1-0 lead. Wake Forest's Lizzie Rae answered a minute later with a goal shot from the top of the circle. Two minutes later, Buckley scored after taking control of the ball near the 25-yard line to give the Terrapins the 2-1 lead at the break.
Wake Forest's Kari Walkley tied the game up on a diving pass from Jess McFadyen 15 minutes into the second half. Three minutes later, Witmer scored her first goal off of a one-touch pass from freshman Hayley Turner to regain the lead. In the 57th minute, Witmer struck again after sophomore Janessa Pope took control at midfield and found her open near the goal.
Liza Casella was the last to score for the Demon Deacons, as she struck in the 58th minute. O'Donnell finalized the score at 5-2 with a slap shot off of a turnover in the 61st minute. O'Donnell and Witmer each have eight goals this season.
Redshirt junior goalkeeper Melissa Vassalotti started for the Terrapins and notched two saves on the day. Demon Deacon goalkeeper Kaitlyn Ruhf had 10 saves in the game.
Maryland outshot Wake Forest 28-10 and held the penalty corner advantage 9-4. Sophomore Megan Frazer took nine shots in the game.
"Megan was really our player of the game," Meharg said. "She had nine shots on goal and Ruhf played quite well."
This was the Terps' first of a four-game road trip. Up next, they will head to No. 4 Princeton Tuesday for a 6 p.m. game and then to No. 3 Virginia for a 5 p.m. game Friday. Next Sunday, Maryland will play at Michigan at 1 p.m.