The top-ranked Maryland field hockey team scored twice in the second half Sunday to win its 10th
Atlantic Coast Conference championship. Tournament MVP Jill Witmer
scored four minutes into the second half, then with 26 minutes to go,
Anna Dessoye, of Mountaintop, sent in a shot off a rebound for the two-
goal lead. Maryland (20-1) won its 10th ACC title, all of which have come under head coach Missy Meharg. The Terps last
won three straight in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Witmer was joined on the All-ACC Team by Hayley Turner, Ali
McEvoy and Sarah Sprink. Due to a yellow card assessed to the
Terrapins in the final 10 minutes of the game and the Tar Heels (15-5) pulling
their keeper for an extra field player, the Terrapin defense dug deep and
completely shut down the Heels’ threatening offense.
“In the beginning of the game, we fell away a lot, so the momentum went
toward North Carolina,” Meharg
said. “When we settled in and
really started passing, it was evident that we were in control of the game. There are 10 field players for each team and Maryland used all
10 all the time. We’re just so proud of our team. Their patience, their footwork around the ball, their communication
to protect each other was outstanding.”
The Tar Heels controlled the first five minutes of the game offensively, but
the Terrapins, who have the nation’s best offense, controlled the rest of the first half. They outshot the
Heels, 6-2, in the scoreless first period.
Right off the bat in the second half, the
Terrapins had three opportunities to
get on the board. Witmer gave them the 1-0 lead just over four minutes into the second half. Turner sent
her a pass from the baseline for a
point-blank shot and she tucked a high shot over the goalie.
With 26 minutes to go, sophomore Dessoye, a graduate of Crestwood High
School, made it a two-goal lead for the Terrapins after she buried in Ali McEvoy’s rebounded shot on a penalty corner.
North Carolina pulled its goalkeeper Sassi Ammer out of goal for an extra field player after a timeout with 13:22 to play. The Terrapins were assessed a five-minute yellow card with eight minutes to play, so the
Heels held an advantage of two field players. The Heels took five of their eight shots in that time period, but
the Terrapin defense made stops. All-ACC goalkeeper Natalie Hunter made
both of her saves on the day in that time frame.
For information on the Terps’ game time and opponent in the NCAA Tournament, log on to umterps.com.
The Terrapins are the unanimous No. 1 in both the Penn Monto/
NFHCA Division I National Coaches poll and the latest NCAA RPI rankings
released Nov. 5. The Terps have held the top spot in both polls since early October.