Field Hockey Begins Big Ten play with a Win Against Northwestern

By Katie Christ

The No. 10 Maryland Terrapins beat the No. 12 Northwestern Wildcats 3-2 in their first Big Ten game of the season Friday afternoon at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex in College Park, Md.

“It feels great,” Maryland head coach Missy Meharg said. “I applaud Northwestern, they’re very well coached, they’re very athletic, they’re very tough and I’m glad we opened [Big Ten play] with them.”

Freshman goalkeeper Sarah Holiday started in goal for the Terps, making four saves, and Meharg was ultimately pleased with her performance.

“She’s very athletic and I think she performed very well,” Meharg said.

Northwestern scored first in the game, off of a penalty corner, but their early lead did not stop the Terp’s offense. Maryland took 20 shots on goal, led by senior forward Anna Dessoye.

Dessoye scored her third goal of the year at the end of the first half, with an assist from senior defender Sarah Sprink. She continued to play strong in the second half, assisting in a goal by freshman forward Linnea Gonzales.

“It was easy to find her,” Dessoye said, “she called for it, I gave it to her, she had a really awesome shot.”

Just one minute later, Dessoye followed up Gonzales’ goal with one of her own, her second of the game, bringing the Terps’ lead to 3-1.

“Anna is an amazing field hockey player, she is the heart and soul of the team, and when she plays like that …we’re very dominant,” Meharg said.

Meharg said the fitness of her forwards also contributed to their success in goal on Friday.

“She and Alyssa Parker and Emma Rissinger are really quite something with fitness,” Meharg said, “Northwestern is a fantastic team, but you don’t get twenty shots on a team like that unless you are really fit because they’re so physically tough.”

Northwestern scored again in the second half with under ten minutes to play. Maryland stayed resilient and kept the ball in possession for the remainder of the game, solidifying the win.

“As a whole, our team had a really great mentality going in to this game,” said Dessoye, “we’ve never beaten Northwestern before and I guess that was in the back of our minds a little bit, but we really wanted to grow as a team and I think we really did that today.”