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Field hockey splits two-game series in Philadelphia

The Boston University field hockey team began their grueling 2011 schedule in grand fashion with a contest against top-ranked University of Maryland in Philadelphia during Temple University’s Conference Cup, but the Terriers were unable to hold the Terrapins, falling 3-1 against last year’s NCAA champions.

“We’re a team with high expectations for the year,” said head coach Sally Starr. “Maryland is either a national champion or international champion year in and year out and we competed successfully against them.”

The Terriers, currently ranked 19th overall in the country, were unable to contain Maryland’s high-scoring senior Jemma Buckley, who completed a hat trick by scoring all three of Maryland’s goals. Yet, her offense did not prevent junior Terrier goalkeeper Jess Maroney from recording 5 saves in her first career start.

In the first half, BU blocked four Maryland penalty corners and seemed to have a handle on the game when senior Rachel White took a shot at goal with the assistance of fellow senior Kate Murphy, but Maryland goalkeeper Melissa Vassalotti was there to make the save.

After a second shot attempt by White off of Vassalotti’s deflection, sophomore Kat Spring took advantage of goalkeeper’s absence from the goal, but Terrapin midfielder Colleen Gulick was there to cover for the goalkeeper.

White, assisted by junior forward Leslie Zules, was able to break through the strong Maryland defense in the second half with a goal. However, the Terriers’s hopes of a comeback were squashed when Buckley completed her hat trick minutes before the end of the game.

The Terriers were outscored 12-6 and out-penalized 9-1 by the Terrapins.

Saturday, the Terriers took the field against Bucknell at Temple’s Greasey Field in a game that was rescheduled from Sunday due to hurricane precautions. The Terriers defeated the Bison 5-0 with goals from juniors Jacinda McLeod, Macey Gaumond and Tabi Hatch. Guamond and Hatch each scored two goals, rewarding Guamond with her first career multi-goal game.

“It was a short turnaround,” said Starr of the 18 hours between the two games.

“We did really well, physically and mentally,” Starr said, a feat made significant by the 88 degree heat and 100 percent humidity.

All five goals came in the first half, giving BU its first victory of the season. The Terriers, who are now 1-1, began the game with a goal from McLeod off a penalty stroke just six minutes into play. Guamond followed with two goals of her own, the first assisted by McLeod, and moments later, Hatch repeated the feat, scoring her first goals as a Terrier by converting a rebound and a loose ball into the last two points for BU.

The Terriers’ three goalkeepers contributed to the shutout. Junior Jess Maroney played the first half with senior Julie Collins taking over in the second. BU’s strong offensive lead gave freshman Valentina Cerda a chance to make her collegiate debut by taking over the goal for the last 14 minutes of play.

While BU outshot Bucknell 20-4, the Bison, now 0-2, ousted the Terriers in penalty corners 7-3. One of the strengths Coach Starr foresees in the season ahead is the depth of her team in their ability to play multiple positions.

“In hockey, you can no longer keep the same players on the field for the entire game. It’s a very fast paced game, so it’s a luxury to be able to put fresh legs on the field,” said Starr.

The Terriers return home for their first game at Jordan Field on Friday, Sept. 2 at 6 p.m against Providence College.

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