The Terps kick off their season Friday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. in Virginia Beach against Michigan State after an unusually long offseason.
The Terps are coming off a strong season where they won the Big Ten championship and made the NCAA Tournament for the 25th consecutive year, but their tournament run ended with an overtime loss to No. 3 Virginia in the quarterfinals.
Maryland is anchored by goalie Noelle Frost and midfielders Brooke DeBerdine and Kyler Greenwalt who are all returning for their super senior season. Frost, Brooke DeBerdine and her sister, midfielder Emma DeBerdine were named to the Big Ten’s Preseason Players to Watch list. Brooke DeBerdine was named captain for the team this season.
Emma DeBerdine is the Terp’s leading returning scorer in 2019 and hopes to build off her strong freshman season where she scored seven goals and had five assists. Forward Bibi Donraadt is the Terp’s other top returning scorer. Last season, Donraddt scored six goals and had eight assists.
“I could not be more excited,” head coach Missy Meharg said. “We have worked so hard to be in this place, to be healthy and to be fit.”
Greenwalt is returning from a torn ACL injury she suffered in 2018 and feels ready to contribute more to the team. She played limited minutes last season, after starting 11 games in 2018 with two goals and two assists.
“I feel good,” Greenwalt said. “It’s been two years and I have been definitely working really hard just trying to get back on the field and trying to play just how I used to play. I think I’m really getting there.”
The team has found creative ways to stay in shape during the offseason. In the fall, the team worked on improving skills especially passing and held fun competitions. Every Friday, they played in a skills championship where there was a winner and held a five vs five simulation of the NCAA Tournament.
“We made it as competitive as we could and quite honestly they were fired up…everybody wants to play a game,” Meharg said. “I think we simulated as best we could.”
Maryland welcomes in two transfers and a talented freshman class that includes forward/midfielder Anna Castaldo and forward Anouska Chiswell. Chiswell brings a wealth of international experience competing for New Zealand’s U18 squad in 2019 and 2020.
“Anna’s goal scoring is growing everyday and she loves to have the ball inside the circle,” Meharg said. “She is working hard at getting open.”
“Anouska is a feisty forward and does a lot of running for us and opens up space and lanes for us to get to the scoring area and absolutely dynamic,” Meharg added.
Other teammates and some of the team’s senior leadership have praised the freshmen’s hard work and effort.
“The freshmen have stepped on without skipping a beat,” Frost said. “They have been amazing on and off the field.”