Field hockey remains unbeaten on an otherwise rough Sunday

Maryland's top ranked field hockey ran their record to 14-0 with a shutout at American but women's soccer fell at home to Duke and volleyball dropped another straight set loss in Florida.

Once again with the exception of field hockey, Sunday proved to be a rough day for Terrapin sports. Volleyball fell to Miami in straight sets while women's soccer dropped a tough 2-1 loss at home to Duke. Over at American, Maryland's top ranked field hockey squad salvaged the day for the Terps taking a 2-0 decision over the Eagles.

Statistically, the Terps fared better at Miami than they did at Florida State on Friday but the Hurricanes still won fairly easily. In the first set, Miami ran out to a 5-0 lead bu the Terps fought back eventually pulling even at thirteen on a block by Mary Cushman and Ashlyn MacGregor. After a Miami timeout, the ‘Canes ran off three straight to take a 16-13 lead before closing out the set by the same three point margin.

Miami took the early lead in the second and were never headed. After an Adreene Elliott kill pulled the Terps within two at 10-8 the Hurricanes ripped off eight of the next nine points to take control of the set at 18-9. Maryland never really challenged and dropped the set by a 25-16 final.

Though Miami scored first to open the third set, Maryland took its first lead at any point in the match on a block by Elliott that gave the Terps a 4-3 advantage. The teams then traded points before the ‘Canes took the lead for good at six to five. Maryland managed to hang around - staying within two until Miami ran off three straight to extend their lead to 22-17. The five point margin held up as Miami completed the sweep. Elliott led the Terps with 15 kills and a phenomenal .636 hitting percentage. Sarah Harper led in digs with thirteen while Julia Anderson compiled a team high 15 assists. Maryland returns to action Friday night when they host Syracuse in an ACC match up at 7 pm in the Comcast Pavillion.

The field hockey team made the long trip all the way to D.C. to tackle a local rival the American University Eagles and they returned to College Park in possession of their fourteenth consecutive win - a 2-0 shutout of the host team. After a scoreless first half in which the Terps managed only three shots and the Eagles one, Maryland got on the board in the forty-ninth minute capitalizing on their third penalty corner of the game. Leading scorer Jill Witmer put the Terps up by one scoring on a deflection off the penalty corner. The senior's thirteenth goal of the season was also the sixty-first of her career giving her sole possession of fifth place all-time for Maryland goal scorers. Maryland notched an insurance goal in the sixty-fourth minute when red shirt freshman Emma Rissinger once again found herself in the right spot to tip in a ball off the stick of freshman Mieke Hayn. Senior goalkeeper Natalie Hunter picked up her third shutout of the season. The unbeaten and number one ranked Terps will also play Friday night when third ranked Syracuse comes to College Park for a 6 pm showdown. Those who don't want to sit through all the preliminaries of Maryland Madness or who didn't score tickets might want to consider stopping by to support volleyball or field hockey. Neither sport charges an admission fee.

Okay, so I was at Ludwig Field for the Terrapins disappointing 2-1 loss to Duke and as coach Jonathan Morgan said, "This one stings."

My notes from the game for the first thirty minutes or so all point to the way Maryland controlled the game. Even my first note says that the Terps opened the game with a long possession with Duke pressuring in the Maryland defensive half but the Terps were probing to find a way to attack and attack they did. I have a vague note about a good Terrapin opportunity in the fifth minute followed by a strong run by Ashley Spivey in the eleventh minute that led to a Maryland corner. Riley Barger got off a good header on Megan Gibbons' serve but Duke's goalie made a kick save. Then Aubrey Baker drew a foul in the fourteenth minute but Spivey's free kick from 25 yards straight on didn't get past the Duke wall. In the seventeenth minute, Baker played a nice cross to Erika Nelson but the sophomore defender's shot sailed just high. Just seconds later a Spivey cross toward Brock created another dangerous chance but Duke's keeper, Meghan Thomas, intercepted the pass. Some strong play from Barger earned the Terps a second corner in the nineteenth minute and in the twenty first minute Haley Brock turned through a triple team to get off a left footer that Thomas saved. Maryland earned a third corner in the twenty-third minute but again failed to capitalize. Through all this, Duke had one opportunity - a free kick from about 23 yards just left of the box but the shot went harmlessly high. I could go on but as Morgan said, "They defended their tails off, they moved the ball, they built from the back, they attacked, and they were dangerous. I really felt like they deserved more today." When Duke scored the first goal in the thirty-fourth minute off a shot from, as Morgan called it "practically zero angle," I felt I was watching a mirror of Saturday's football game. Maryland had dominated Duke in the general run of play but somehow Duke had the lead.

The Terps drew the first two corners of the second half with Aubrey Baker's shot in the fifty-first minute going just wide while they were unable to get a shot off on the second. In the fifty-fifth minute Duke drew only their third corner of the day on a play that everyone on the field but the official who made the call seemed to think was a goal Kick for Maryland. The Terps shorter defenders couldn't clear the ball and on the second or third chance, Kelly Cobb was able to sneak the ball past Terrapin keeper Rachelle Beanlands to open a 2-0 lead. The Terps upped the pressure and Brock had a good chance in the fifty-ninth minute but Thomas made the save on her header. Two minutes later, Spivey made a strong run down the left side but had no real help down the middle which led to her taking a shot from a tough angle that Thomas knocked over the end line. Again, Maryland couldn't capitalize on the corner. In the sixty-ninth minute, Aubrey Baker launched a bending shot from about 20 yards that forced the six foot two Thomas to stretch and make a diving save. She lost control of the ball when she hit the ground and Cory Ryan was in position to follow up and put the Terps on the board. Maryland pressed through a packed in Blue Devil defense to try for the equalizer with perhaps their best chance coming off the foot of Shade Pratt on a drive from 24 yards straight on but again the shot sailed just high. Maryland's last chance came in the 89th minute off a free kick but Erika Nelson's header went wide and Duke escaped with the win. The Terps are now off on a three game road swing taking on Miami, Florida State and Syracuse before returning home on Sunday, October 27 to face Boston College.

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