It's been building for weeks as the Terrapins won weekly award after weekly award in Big Ten field hockey. So it came as no surprise when the conference announced its post season honors Wednesday morning that the list was filled with Terrapins.
Maxine Fluharty - Big Ten Player of the Year
Fluharty led the Terps in goals scored with 15 and and her 33 total points was second best on the squad. The senior from Millsboro, DE stepped up her play in conference only games tying for the conference lead in goals scored with seven and ringing up two game winners. "Max is special," said coach Meharg. She's just a great athlete and she can play any position on the field. What I'm so impressed by is her maturity."
Sarah Sprink - Defender of the Year
Meharg calls Spring her "libero" and "defensive cover" in anchoring a defense that led the Big Ten with a 1.17 goals against average and in shutouts with six. Sprink also excels as one of the key components on Maryland's penalty corner execution. That unit scored an astonishing 26 goals for the season - two and a half times as many as second best Iowa. Of those 26 goals, 12 came off the stick of Sarah Sprink.
Moira Putsch - Freshman of the Year
Putsch won the first of her four Freshman of the Week honors in the season's third week. She won her fourth in the season's final weekly awards announced yesterday. Putsch is one of four Terrapins who scored double digit goals for the season tying Anna Dessoye for the third best total with eleven. Putsch added six assists to wrap up her freshman season with 28 points. She was also extremely effective in an "unkept" statistic drawing those penalty corners that make Maryland such a scoring threat.
Missy Meharg - Coach of the Year
What can you write about a coach who has won seven national titles, has already won nine National Coach of the Year awards and won ACC Coach of the Year seven times including in the Terps final season in 2013. Is it any surprise that in her first season in the Big Ten, Meharg would pick up another trophy? She led the Terps to the Big Ten title in their first season in the league and has them on an 11 game winning streak as they enter the Big Ten Tournament.
All Big Ten Team Honors
While the conference was generously honoring Terrapins with Player of the Year Awards, they were a bit less generous in placing Terps on the All Big Ten Teams. Sprink and Fluharty were Maryland's only representatives on the All Big Ten first team.
The second team included three Maryland players: Goalkeeper Brooke Cabrera, forward Anna Dessoye, and midfielder Katie Gerzabek. Cabrera led the B1G in goals against average at 1.10 but the fact that she was called upon to make the fewest saves of any goalie in the conference probably kept her off the first team. Dessoye's 38 points led the Terps in scoring. However, because of the Terps' balance, this was only good enough for fourth best in the conference. Gerzabek, who Meharg has called the heart of the team, led the conference with 20 assists.
Junior forward Alyssa Parker was Maryland's Sportsmanship Award Honoree. The junior went on a late season scoring spree scoring six times in the Terrapins' last seven games.