Top Five Moments of 2011
Dec. 31, 2011
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Take a look back at the top five moments of the Terps' championship season.
5. Maryland Tops No. 9 Michigan, 2-1
Coming off of a 4-1 loss at No. 12 Old Dominion just two days prior, the Terrapins rebounded with a 2-1 win over a solid Michigan team on Sept. 4.
The Old Dominion loss on Sept. 2 was one of the toughest in recent program history. The young Terrapin squad was confused about its destiny, but the Terps quickly took a step in the right direction with the win over the ninth-ranked Wolverines.
After a scoreless first half, Jemma Buckley struck in the first two minutes of the second half to open the scoring. Ten minutes later, Jill Witmer sent one in to give Maryland a 2-0 lead. Michigan scored its goal with just over seven minutes left in the game.
"This was a big result for this group, coming off of a really tough battle on Friday," head coach Missy Meharg said. "I'm so proud of the way this new team came out and made a commitment to their style and their standard of protecting this house. Michigan is a great team. They're formidable and they are a championship team."
4. Terps Top No. 3 Syracuse in Overtime for Final Four Bid
Heading into the NCAA Tournament unseeded and outside the top four, the Terrapins knew their road to Louisville would be tougher than in years past. Third-seeded Syracuse, who was also the Big East champion, would be heading to College Park for the NCAA First and Second Rounds.
After a 4-2 win over No. 12 Iowa in the First Round, the Terps found themselves in a defensive battle with the Orange in the Second Round on Nov. 13. After nearly 56 minutes of scoreless hockey, Janessa Pope found freshman Katie Gerzabek to send in the go-ahead goal to give Maryland a 1-0 lead.
The Terps' lead was short-lived as Syracuse's Kelsey Millman equalized the game just seven minutes later. They would go into overtime.
With 1:34 remaining in overtime, junior Harriet Tibble scored her first goal of the year. After the Terps were awarded a penalty corner, Gerzabek inserted on the play and Tibble stopped then took the shot for the score. The Terps would go on to their 15th Final Four appearance.
"This is just an amazing team in the way we have grown in the final few weeks from the level of our training, to performance under pressure, and our emotional trust in each other," head coach Missy Meharg said after the win.
3. Frazer Wins Honda Sports Award
After winning the program's eighth national title, junior co-captain Megan Frazer was voted the Honda Sports Award winner for field hockey - deeming her as the nation's top player in that sport.
She is Maryland's fifth Honda Award winner, but it is the program's seventh award.
"What and honor for Megan and for Maryland hockey," head coach Missy Meharg said. "She is one of the hardest working athletes that we have coached. As one of our team captains, she led our team into their best level of play at the most critical time of the season to become NCAA champions. She is a premier high performance student-athlete who has made such a positive impact on the NCAA Division I game."
2. Terps Avenge Two Losses to Top #2 Old Dominion, 4-0, in NCAA Semifinals
After a 4-1 loss and a 5-2 loss to the Monarchs earlier in the year, the Terrapins were matched up against them in the NCAA Semifinals in Louisville, Ky. The Terrapin coaching staff designed a unique and creative method of playing the second-ranked Monarchs that worked to perfection. The Terrapins rolled to a 4-0 win to advance to the NCAA championship game.
Colleen Gulick put the Terrapins on the board with her second goal of the season in the 15th minute. Jemma Buckley cracked a shot off of a penalty corner and Gulick tipped in the rebound off the save to give Maryland a 1-0 lead.
Three minutes later, Megan Frazer dribbled into the top of the circle and drilled in a shot from the top right corner for the second Terrapins' goal. Maryland would take a 2-0 lead into the break.
Harriet Tibble and Buckley both scored within 71 seconds to push the Terps' lead to 4-0. Tibble sent in a hard shot off of a corner inserted by Katie Gerzabek in the 57th minute. Tibble stopped on the play and then cracked the shot.
A little over a minute later, Jill Witmer found Buckley in front of the goal to send in the fourth Terrapins goal with just under 12 minutes left to play.
"We're so proud of the team," head coach Missy Meharg said after the win. "Over the last three days, we needed to have a very different tactic to play Old Dominion's very stretched midfield. We have worked on that since Wednesday. The players were so disciplined in doing what we asked. We knew it was a huge gamble. Old Dominion's an incredible team and we're just so proud of Maryland."
1. Terps Beat #1 North Carolina for Eighth NCAA Title
After entering the Tournament unseeded, no one knew just how far the Terrapins would go. They had the talent, skill and coaching to go all the way, but after a tough loss to Duke in the ACC Semifinals, no one was sure which was the NCAA Tournament would go.
Beginning with the win over Iowa in the First Round and carrying into the wins over Syracuse and Old Dominion, the Terrapins were playing their best hockey of the season. They were playing as a unit and playing to their potential at the right time.
They entered the NCAA Championship game against No. 1 North Carolina. The two teams had met in the previous two title games, with Carolina winning in 2009 and the Terps winning in 2010.
They trailed the Tar Heels 2-0 with less than five minutes remaining when head coach Missy Meharg pulled goalkeeper Melissa Vassalotti to send in an extra field player. Less than a minute later, Tibble found Gerzabek in front of the goal to tip a shot to put the Terps on the board.
The Terrapins were awarded a penalty corner in the final minute. As the clock expired, they were able to execute the corner with no time on the clock. Pope inserted, Tibble stopped, and Buckley sent in the tying shot with the clock at 0.00 to force overtime.
With just under four minutes left in the extra period, Meharg sent in Jill Witmer after a quick rest. Witmer, the fastest player of the field, immediately took the ball and streaked down the sideline and crossed to the other side. After splitting the Carolina defense, she sent in a hard shot for the game-winner and the Terps' second straight title.