Sept. 11, 2011
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The No. 3 Maryland field hockey team (5-1) held off Villanova, 6-3, Sunday for its 99th win at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex. After the teams were tied at the half, sophomore Jill Witmer led the Terrapins' attack in the second half with her first career hat trick.
The Terrapins took 32 shots to Villanova's three and had 19 penalty corners to the Wildcats' two. Maryland scored four of its goals off of penalty corners.
"We grew a lot this weekend. We got a lot of people playing, which is great. We like to get a very deep squad by the end of Sept," head coach Missy Meharg said. "I was really pleased with scoring half of our goals on penalty corner. Surely with the amount of corners we got we'd like to score on more, but we scored on some good, well-executed penalty corners."
Villanova took a 1-0 lead in the fifth minute of the game when Amy Jackson tipped in a loose ball for the score.
Witmer tied it at one when junior Megan Frazer found her for a one-on-one against the Villanova goalkeeper. Buckley gave Maryland a 2-1 lead on the Terps' fifth corner of the day. Freshman Katie Gerzabek and junior Harriet Tibble assisted on the play.
The Wildcats tied it again when Maddy Harding scored on their only corner of the first half. Jordan Lynn and Jessica Swoboda assisted on the setup.
The Terrapins came out of the break ready to surge and control the game. Twelve of their 19 corners and 20 of their 32 shots came in the second stanza.
"We were very reactive and very individually proactive after halftime," Meharg said. "I was very pleased with that coachability with this team."
Witmer scored her second goal to give Maryland the lead for good. After a penalty corner, she tipped in a deflection in the 39th minute for the 3-2 lead. Gerzabek scored the Terps' fourth goal off of a backdoor shot with 26:21 remaining in the game. Sophomore Ali McEvoy notched the assist.
In the 50th minute of play, junior Nikki Fernandez scored her first goal as a Terrapin. She tipped in a rebounded shot for the 5-2 Maryland lead.
Witmer's third goal was the Terrapins' sixth and final of the game. In the 52nd minute, she deflected in senior Jemma Buckley's shot off of a corner setup.
Villanova added its third goal when Jessica Swoboda deflected in Kristen Davila's shot with just over 12 minutes remaining in the game. The Wildcats scored on their only three shots of the game.
Maryland will open Atlantic Coast Conference play Friday at Boston College (5-1). The Terrapins and the Eagles will play at 6 p.m. at the Field Hockey Field.
The Terps will continue their road trip with a game at 2010 NCAA Tournament team Massachusetts (2-3) Sunday at noon at Richard F. Garber Field. The Terrapins beat the Minutewomen 4-2 last season in the NCAA First Round.