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Noelle Frost making the most of her starting opportunity for Maryland field hockey

After serving as a backup for three seasons, the senior goalkeeper is thriving in her new role.

Maddie Kyler | Maryland Athletics

With Maryland field hockey up 8-0 against Towson in 2017, head coach Missy Meharg decided to let her younger players get in on the action.

Goalkeeper Noelle Frost, then a sophomore, trotted onto the field for the first time in her career. She didn’t see time the year before as a freshman, and that offseason, then-junior Sarah Holliday had won the starting job with more experience under her belt.

Frost didn’t have to face any shots in the remaining 13 minutes of that, but it was a big milestone nonetheless. On Wednesday, a little over two years later, Frost will be facing the Tigers once again. Though, this time, she’s Maryland’s starting goalkeeper.

“I think it’s just awesome like two years later, here we are playing Towson again,” Frost said. “I think it’s gonna be an awesome game.”

Frost found herself fighting for playing time behind Holliday during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. The game against the Tigers was one just of two appearances for her in 2017, logging just 30 minutes of playing time while facing zero shots.

In 2018, the competition heated up a bit as Frost and Holliday traded starts in the beginning of the season, but Holliday ultimately was named the starter for the Terps.

During that position battle, Frost’s personality and intangibles were very apparent to coach Missy Meharg.

“I saw a really, just great teammate in Noelle the whole time,” Meharg said. “Was she happy not being on the field? Absolutely not. And none of the women are. They don’t come to Maryland to not be on the field, but what I saw was a level of support for Sarah and a level of patience in Noelle that will take her to whatever she wants to do in life.”

Frost started in three games and appeared in nine in 2018, posting a 4-0 record, while saving 15 shots and allowing seven goals. But the current senior said that the season was an important learning experience.

“I learned a lot, more or less mentality wise,” Frost said. “When we were first going back and forth starting, we both were just gunning for it. And I think our relationship grew very well in that year. … We would always ask each other for feedback and we kind of just created a pretty mature and comfortable goalie relationship.”

Come 2019, Frost once again faced competition for the starting spot, going up against sophomore Skye Joegriner. In the beginning of the year, Meharg said that the competition would come down to who “will fall in sync the quickest,” and so far it has been Frost.

“It feels pretty awesome,” Frost said. “Getting the consistency of just going in every game and knowing that my defense has confidence in me, and I have confidence in them. … It’s pretty awesome just knowing we are all just unified and we all just believe in each other.”

So far this season, Frost has flourished as the starting goalkeeper for the Terps — the senior has started in all four games and has posted a 3-1 record. She’s been reliable in the cage and her play has allowed Maryland to stay in every game. Frost has allowed just three goals — 0.83 goals per game allowed, which ranks ninth in the nation. She also has a .786 save percentage, good for 19th.

Meharg praises her ability and leadership, especially with the other keepers.

“She’s a great goaltender and she’s a super teammate,” Meharg said. “She services her team before herself in every way, on the field [and] off the field. … She’s a big time team player. She is helping Skye [Joegriner] develop into being a very high level keeper, as well as Christina [Calandra].”

Throughout her four years in College Park, Frost has recognized that she has grown and developed into a better goalie. But she also had an attitude to keep working and come into every day with an unselfish mentality.

“My mindset was, ‘I’m going to go in and I’m going to give my all so my teammates will grow and I can grow as well,’” Frost said. “The mentality, it has to be just constant reassurance in yourself and knowing whatever is happening out here, I can’t control it, but I can control how I play and how I act.”

With the combination of this attitude, the experience, and her work ethic, Frost has rightfully earned the starting spot and is living up to the expectations.

“I think that the biggest thing in a goalie is experience,” senior midfielder Madison Maguire said. “I think Noelle, playing in USA stuff, has had that experience and even having that redshirt year. … Now that she’s getting the consistency in the games, she has the experience and we all believe in her.”