Maryland Field Hockey Wins Big Ten Championship
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The top-seeded and seventh-ranked Maryland field hockey team (19-3) won its 22nd conference title Sunday with a 5-1 win over No. 10 Michigan (17-4) in the Big Ten Tournament championship game at Indiana University.
Fifth-year senior Welma Luus set a Big Ten Tournament record with seven goals in the three-game stretch. She scored a career-high four goals in Sunday’s championship match. The previous Big Ten Tournament record was six goals in the 1981 Big Ten Tournament by Northwestern’s Nancy Fisher.
“”We’re ecstatic to win a tournament title,” head coach Missy Meharg said. “We were here 12 months ago and played the same day. We learned a lot from those five days and put ourselves in a position to be back here again against a great Michigan. We were so disciplined, so poised today. Welma Luus has world-class skills and we’re just so proud to be Big Ten champions.”
Luus got off to a hot start, scoring just 2:02 into the match. She took a pass from senior Anna Dessoye and brought the ball behind the Michigan keeper for a hard shot into the bottom right corner.
Midway through the first half, sophomore Floor Paanakker extended Maryland’s lead to 2-0 when she notched her second goal of the season. She took a pass from sophomore Lein Holsboer and sent in a shot to the bottom right corner of the cage just under 18 minutes left in the first half.
Luus added her second goal of the day with 7:31 left in the first when she slung in a hard shot off a rebound on a penalty corner to make it a three-goal lead for Maryland.
Second-seeded Michigan got on the board just over a minute later off a score by Allie Sardo. Maryland would lead 3-1 at the half.
Luus’ record-tying goal came in the 56th minute when she took the ball directly off a corner and banged it in for the score and the 4-1 lead.
Five minutes later, she broke the Big Ten Tournament record off a pass from Dessoye. The score gave Maryland a 5-1 lead with just under 10 minutes to play.
Maryland outshot Michigan, 13-11, but held the Wolverines to just one shot in the second half. Freshman Sarah Holliday made four saves.
Luus was named Tournament MVP and Dessoye was named to the All-Big Ten Tournament Team.
The Terrapins racked up numerous honors from the Big Ten conference Wednesday. Head coach Missy Meharg was named Coach of the Year for the Second Straight Year, senior Sarah Sprink was named Big Ten Player of the Year and Linnea Gonzales was voted Freshman of the Year.
Sprink and Dessoye were unanimous selections to the All-Big Ten First Team. Luus and Gonzales were both named to the Second Team. Senior Shari Jones earned a Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.
The NCAA Selection Show will be streamed live online here at 10 p.m. ET Sunday.