Nov. 11, 2007
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The second-seeded University of Maryland field hockey team fell to No. 9 Penn State, 1-0, in a NCAA Second Round upset Sunday afternoon at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex. The Terps dropped to 18-3 on the season, while the Nittany Lions improved to 15-7. Penn State will return to College Park next weekend for the Final Four, when they take on third-seeded Wake Forest on Friday, Nov. 16, at 7:30 p.m.
Penn State senior Kiersten Wood said, "Maryland is a tough team to beat, especially at home, and I think we had nothing to lose today and put it all out on the line. We had an up-and-down season, but we worked hard to get here and I think we showed it today."
The game was scoreless until the 22-minute mark when Penn State's Shaun Banta crossed the ball in front of the goal from the right endline. Britney Long was in perfect position on the right side of the cage to put her stick on it and shoot weak side for the goal. Banta and Long also combined for Penn State's first goal in Saturday's 3-2 First Round win over Virginia.
In the cage for Maryland was senior All-American Kathryn Masson (Richmond, British Columbia), saving four in a full-game effort. Penn's State's Jen Beaumont made nine saves while holding the Terps scoreless. The Terps actually outshot the Nittany Lions 14-6, including nine shots in the second half. With Penn State's defense hunkered down close to the goal, Maryland had a difficult time breaking free for open looks.
Maryland head coach Missy Meharg said, "I give them a lot of credit, they were one of the strongest defensive units we've seen all year, certainly. If you are going to dribble first, you are going into a big wall. The Big Ten plays a very strong brand of hockey."
The Terps also outcornered Penn State 6-2, but were unable to convert the opportunities.
Meharg said, "Our penalty corner execution was not up to where it has been. That has been our bread and butter. We've been such a high-performing team with penalty corners, you just think they're going to go."
Prior to the Penn State-Wake Forest game at 7:30 p.m., top-ranked North Carolina will face off against No. 4 Connecticut at 5:00 p.m. at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex in College Park. The winners of the Final Four games move on to the championship game at noon on Sunday, Nov. 18. The final game will air on CSTV.
Terrapin seniors Janneke van Leeuwen and Masson will be back in action for the NFHCA Senior All-Star Game on Saturday, Nov. 17.
"We will miss the three seniors [van Leeuwen, Masson, and Kim Ziegler] tremendously," said Meharg. "The big positive for the future is that there is a tremendous amount of character, some great hockey players, and women who have experienced being in a championship situation returning to this team. They know what we stand for and are willing to work hard."
#9 Penn State (15-7) 1 0 - 1 #2 Maryland (18-3) 0 0 - 0
GOALS: PSU, Britney Long (Shaun Banta), 21:54. SHOTS: PSU 6, MD 14. PENALTY CORNERS: PSU 2, MD 6. SAVES: PSU, Jen Beaumont 9 (0 GA, 70:00); MD, Kathryn Masson 4 (1 GA, 70:00). ATTENDANCE: 478. -TERPS-