Nov. 15, 2009

Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The top-seeded Maryland field hockey team advanced to its second consecutive Final Four Sunday afternoon with its 5-0 win over Drexel. The Terrapins showed a complete controlling effort both on defense and offensively, led by Nicole Muracco's two goals.

"We're truly proud of the women, for playing 70 minutes of dominant field hockey against a determined, well-coached Drexel team," head coach Missy Meharg said. "Alexis Pappas in the midfield was stellar and Nicole Muracco doing what she does so well, putting us two goals up, just finishing. We're very proud of them."

Senior Nicole Muracco broke the game open for the Terps with two goals within two minutes just before halftime. Her first, off her own rebounded shot, gave her the single-season goals record at Maryland with 29. She broke the career goals record earlier this year.

Her second goal, off an Ameliet Rischen pass to the inside, put the Terps up 2-0, which was the score at the half. The Maryland defensive unit did not allow the Dragons a shot or a penalty corner in the first half. Despite trailing at the break, Drexel goalkeeper Jenna Phillips notched nine saves in the half and 16 on the day.

Maryland's points leader, Katie O'Donnell, scored two minutes into half off a deflection. The Terps did not get on the board again until there were ten minutes left in the half and freshman Janessa Pope scored off an assist from Muracco in front of the goal. Freshman Megan Frazer, who has scored in each of the Terps' last three games, finalized the score at 5-0 with her unassisted goal.

Maryland outshot Drexel 33-3 and held a strong advantage in penalty corners, 15-2. Senior goalkeeper Alicia Grater notched one save on the day.

The Terrapins will take on Princeton Friday at 2 p.m. in Winston Salem, N.C. In the only meeting this year between Princeton and Maryland, the top-ranked Terps pulled out an overtime 3-2 win over the No. 5 Tigers in College Park.