Terps Clinch First Big Ten Title

By Nate Harold

On senior day for the Maryland field hockey team, the #2 ranked Terps concluded their 2014 regular season by winning their 11th consecutive game and clinching their first Big Ten title, after defeating No. 14 ranked Iowa 4-1.

The win clinched the Terps the top seed going into the Big Ten Tournament in their inaugural season in the conference. After the game, head coach Missy Meharg expressed great pride in her team.

Terps celebrate their first Big Ten Title. (Courtesy of UMTerps.com)
Terps celebrate their first Big Ten Title. (Courtesy of UMTerps.com)

“It’s been a great ride being in the Big Ten,” Mehrag said. “So proud of all the women that had an opportunity to play, those that didn’t have an opportunity to play, because these women compete as one everyday, and being the first Big Ten regular season champions [in Maryland field hockey history] is quite a tribute to them.”

Seniors Maxine Fluharty, midfielder/forward, and Brooke Cabrera, goalkeeper, in the final regular season game of their careers as Terps, put on a pair of spectacular final performances.

When asked whether she was affected by any pregame emotions due to it being senior day, Cabrera said, “I mean a little bit in the warm-up, I was just kind of like, ‘Wow, this is a bit surreal,’ but once the buzzer went off and the game started, I was just focused.”

Fluharty, in response to the same question, also had a game-time mentality, saying, “I don’t think we focused on that as much…because this isn’t the end, there [are] still more tournaments to come, and so I think our team was very present in that way [going into the game].”

Staying focused was key in allowing these girls to perform at their best in one of the most important games of their respective careers. Fluharty scored two of the Terps’ four goals, finishing first on the team with 15 goals for the season. And yet, her personal successes are an extension of cohesive team play, she claims.

When asked what she would attribute her goal-scoring prowess this season to, Fluharty said, “To everyone, to everyone around me. It’s incredible the way the team just works for each other, and they’ll just give the final pass…it’s really to everyone else.”

Cabrera was her usual dominant self, making five saves and allowing only one goal, en route to her 11th straight victory in goal, as she finished the season with an overall record of 16-2.

However, the players aren’t going to dote on their accomplishments up until this point.

Cabrera, responding to whether the team views this winning streak as a momentum-builder or whether it is time for a clean slate, said, “Clean slate. I’d have to say, I mean, the one thing Max [Fluharty] said to us was…‘You know we got one, but now we’ve got a whole new stretch of focus and time and energy,’ and it’s just a clean slate.”

The team will begin this “clean slate” on Thursday when they’ll face Ohio State, a team that the Terps routed 6-0 earlier in the season, to kick-off the Big Ten Tournament.