By Katie Christ
It is a setup that has been working all season long.
Junior midfielder Anna Dessoye takes the penalty corner, and she drives the ball to senior forward Katie Gerzabek, who passes it to senior midfielder Steffi Shnied. Shnied, without hesitation, shoots as it flies past the goalie and into the net.
Maryland’s excellent execution of their penalty corners led to a 5-1 win against the Princeton Tigers Saturday at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex in College Park, Md. With this win the Terps advance into the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.
Head coach Missy Meharg spoke proudly of her team’s execution of penalty corners Saturday afternoon.
“Taking straight shots and rebounding has been a theme of ours pretty much the whole year,” she said.
Shnied scored twice off of two successful corners in the second period. Moria Putsch hit the first one off an assist from Gerzabek. The second came with the help of Dessoye and Gerzabek.
Shneid said after the game that scoring the two goals “feels really good, especially because I’m a senior and now every game counts.”
Princeton’s defense did not lack in effort but could not contain the Terps. Princeton goalkeeper Anya Gersoff had a total of nine saves and shut out the Terps for the first twelve minutes of the game. Welma Luus scored the first goal, her fourth of the year.
Coach Meharg called Luus “a fabulous athlete” for her improvements in training over the past few weeks.
“She has risen the bar in training like no other,” Meharg said.
The second goal was scored by Putsch off an assist from junior Alyssa Parker and the Terps’ third goal came on another well-executed corner by senior Sarah Sprink.
Maryland surrendered one goal to the Tigers at the very end of the game, but Princeton had no answers for the potent Terps offense.
After the game, Sprink said that the team had no trouble recovering from their loss against Northeastern last week.
“We’re still hungry” Sprink said. “The Big Ten [Tournament] is done. This is a new tournament. We refocused and we know that every game counts and we’re up for a different title now.”
Meharg applauded both her team and the Tigers in her postgame comments.
“I have so much respect for their players, their coaching staff,” Meharg said. “It’s a great result for Maryland, and I couldn’t be more proud of the way we competed against a very good team.”