No. 10 Field Hockey Season Begins With No. 1 Maryland, Temple
Aug. 27, 2014
Scouting Report: Maryland Terrapins
2013 leading scorer Jill Witmer graduated after providing 47 points via 19 goals and nine assists. However, Maryland returns Anna Dessoye, a junior midfielder, who added 42 points on 13 goals and 16 assists last season. Maxine Fluharty also returns following a 31-point season earned through the strength of 12 goals and seven assists. The Terrapins are also searching for a new starting goalie after the graduation of NFHCA All-American Natalie Hunter, who played 1,431 of a possible 1,691 minutes and earned a .769 save percentage and 1.17 goals-against average as a senior in 2013.
Head coach Missy Meharg enters her 28th season leading the program. She is 472-114-9 overall with seven NCAA championships and 10 ACC titles. Meharg is a nine-time recipient of the NFHCA Division I Coach of the Year Award with 24 NCAA tournament appearances to her name at Maryland.
Scouting Report: Temple Owls
Amber Youtz provided 39 points on 16 goals and seven assists to lead the Temple offense. At the opposite end of the field, Lizzy Millen started each of Tempe's 20 games last season. Millen finished the year with a 1.58 goals-against average and .776 save percentage over 1,417 minutes in the cage.
Former conference rivals, UMass and Temple have met 46 times with UMass owning 34 victories. The first took the field against each other in 1978 and last met when the Minutewomen bounced the Owls from the 2012 Atlantic 10 Tournament, 5-2 to end Temple's season.
Minutewomen Tabbed 10th Nationally In NFHCA Top-20 Poll
The University of Maryland took the top spot with 881 points and 22 of the 47 first place votes. Connecticut was chosen for the top spot by 14 coaches, the second-highest total behind the Terps, but starts the season at No. 3 with 831 points. North Carolina occupies second with 855 points to go with eight first place votes. Duke (776 points) and Syracuse (729) round out the top five. Each received one vote for first place.
Virginia (572) took sixth, followed closely by Princeton (571) and Penn State (552). Old Dominion sits ninth, directly ahead of the Minutewomen with 516 points. UMass received 406 points in the poll, which features four 2014 opponents in Maryland, Boston College, Connecticut and Syracuse.
Boston College is the only other school from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to earn a spot in the NFHCA top-20 as the Eagles hold 13th on the strength of 361 points. Massachusetts is the lone Atlantic 10 Conference institution ranked.
UMass Takes Top Spot In 2014 Atlantic 10 Preseason Coaches Poll
Four From Field Hockey Named A-10 Preseason All-Conference
The season was highlighted by a 12-game winning streak that saw the Minutewomen roll through non-conference play undefeated, beat VCU and Richmond for the Atlantic 10 Title and down No. 7 Virginia, 4-3 in overtime to reach the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals. During the win streak, UMass outscored its foes, 52-14 while the run of success marks the longest stretch of consecutive victories achieved by the program since the 1993 squad won 13-straight en route to an Atlantic 10 Title and NCAA Tournament berth.
Numerous Minutewomen were honored as a result of the team's overall success during the campaign. Lauren Allymohamed and Alexa Sikalis were each awarded NFHCA All-America status, with Allymohamed adding Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year, First Team NFHCA All-Region and Atlantic 10 First Team All-Conference to the trophy case. Sikalis was also recognized as a first team honoree by the NFHCA on its all-region listing and the Atlantic 10 through its all-conference awards.
Hannah Prince and Brooke Sabia joined Allymohamed and Sikalis on the Atlantic 10 All-Conference and NFHCA All-Region first teams while Sabia took home the A-10 Offensive Player of the Year. Sam Carlino and Charlotte Verelst were honored by the NFHCA with second team all-region laurels, while Verelst was also named the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year and an A-10 Second Team All-Conference award winner. Tagliente rounded out the major award recipients on the squad as she was chosen as the Atlantic 10 and NFHCA Northeast Region Coach of the Year, the second straight season she took in both laurels.
The 2014 Team Captains