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News for 26 August 2019

All the news for Monday 26 August 2019

Belfius EuroHockey Championship (Women) 2019
Antwerp, Belgium

Fixtures (GMT +2)

25 Aug 2019     IRL v RUS (Pool C)     3 - 2
25 Aug 2019     BEL v BLR (Pool C)     3 - 1
25 Aug 2019     ESP v ENG (3rd/4th Place)     1 - 1 (SO 3 - 2)
25 Aug 2019     GER v NED (Final)                   0 - 2

Final Placings

1- Netherlands - Qualifies for Tokyo 2020
2- Germany
3. Spain
4. England
5. Ireland
6. Belgium
7. Russia - Relegated
8. Belarus - Relegated

Pool C Standings

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 Ireland 3 3 0 0 16 3 13 9
2 Belgium 3 2 0 1 8 4 4 6
3 Russia 3 1 0 2 8 7 1 3
4 Belarus 3 0 0 3 1 19 -18 0

FIH Match Centre

Netherlands women and Belgium men book ticket to Tokyo 2020 after Antwerp puts on hockey showcase

Hockey was showcased in some style at the Belfius EuroHockey Championships as spectators were privy to drama, heartache, shattered dreams, realised ambitions and some astonishingly good hockey.

The men’s semi-final between Germany and Belgium, which saw the Red Lions overturn a 2-0 lead to win 4-2 was, according to most spectators, one of the most exciting matches of recent times. There was raw and conflicting emotion on the faces of the Welsh and Irish players as Wales won 4-0 to secure a spot in the top tier of hockey at Ireland’s expense. The joy on the faces of the Germany’s Nike Lorenz as she scored the last minute goal that sent her team to their eighth final at these championships.

But in the end, it was two teams who are at the very pinnacle of the sport who prevailed and booked their places to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. In the men’s final, Belgium, the current World Cup champions, beat a battling but out-classed Spain to win 5-0, while the Netherlands continued to show the world how to keep winning, as they retained the title they won two years ago with a 2-0 win over Germany.

In the men’s competition, the vociferous home crowd were in for a special evening as their team went into overdrive to take a 4-0 lead over Spain in the first half of the men’s final. The decibel level at Wilrijkse Plein just kept getting higher as John-John Dohmen, Florent van Aubel, Tom Boon and Manu Stockbroekx all found the net in the opening 30 minutes.

Spain fought back in the second half but found Vincent Vanasch in tremendous form. The 2018 FIH Goalkeeper of the Year made several crucial saves and Belgium sealed the win when Alexander Hendrickx put away a penalty corner to make it 5-0.

This was Belgium’s first European title and the firework-illuminated celebrations showed just what it meant to this hockey-mad nation.

In the earlier match to determine third place, the Netherlands put on a first class performance to beat Germany 4-0 and take the bronze medal. This is the Netherland’s eighth consecutive medal at these championships.

The women’s reigning champions, the Netherlands, had signalled their intent half-way through the competition. Early results – two draws with Belgium and Spain – had suggested Alyson Annan’s players were not on their usual game. That all changed towards the end of the competition. Russia felt the full force of Oranje as they lost by 14-0 in their final pool game and then the 2015 champions, England, suffered a humiliating 8-0 loss in the semi-finals – the biggest semi-final loss in the competition’s history.

However, it was a more conservative 2-0 scoreline that sealed the ticket to Tokyo for Annan and her charges. Germany worked hard to add another European title to their tally but they found their opponents in obdurate mood. A 12th minute goal put the onus on Germany to play attacking hockey but, just as Netherlands are prolific in front of goal, so they are no slouches when it comes to defence.

It was two long-serving stalwarts who delivered the goals. Kelly Jonker in the 12th minute and Lidewij Welten in the dying seconds of the game, after Germany had removed their goalkeeper in a last ditch effort to equal the scoreline.

Spain won their first medal at a European Championship since 2003, when they took bronze after ending England’s run of medals at seven consecutive European championships. The sides drew 1-1, but Spain held their nerve to win the shoot-out.

Final standings - men
1 Belgium
2 Spain
3 Netherlands
4 Germany
5 England
6 Wales
7 Scotland
8 Ireland

Player of the Tournament - Victor Wegnez (BEL)
U21 Player of the Tournament - Jonas de Geus (NED)
Goalkeeper of the Tournament - Vincent Vanasch (BEL)
Top Goalscorer - Tom Boon (BEL), Alexander Hendrickx (BEL), Mirco Pruijser (NED) and Pau Quemada (ESP) - all scored 5

Final standing - women
1 Netherlands
2 Germany
3 Spain
4 England
5 Ireland
6 Belgium
7 Russia
8 Belarus

Player of the Tournament - Georgia Oliva (ESP)
U21 Player of the Tournament - Pia Maertens (GER)
Goalkeeper of the Tournament - Maria Lopez (ESP)
Top Goalscorer - Caia van Maasakker (NED) and Lidewij Welten (NED) 5 goals

FIH site

England's women lose bronze medal match against Spain

England's women were beaten by Spain in a shootout in the bronze medal match at the EuroHockey Championships.

Having taken an early lead in the match, England were begged back by the Spanish and so it proved in the shootout as well, England going 2-1 ahead only for their opponents to fight back and win 3-2.

The game itself was a cagey affair in the Antwerp heat, with both 'keepers making good saves to keep the scores level. There were decent opportunities for both sides in the final minutes as the game opened up, but neither side was able to capitalise on space inside the D.

So it was a disappointing end to the tournament for England, but after suffering a crushing defeat to the Netherlands 40 hours earlier, they restored an element of pride - although make no mistake they would have preferred to finish with a medal.

Match report

England scored in the first quarter after pressurising Spain into a defensive mistake, Sarah Evans pinching possession in a dangerous position and allowing Hannah Martin to neatly score underneath the diving goalkeeper. With ten minutes gone it was just the start England wanted.

Spain did not let their heads drop though, and soon came close with a penalty corner well stopped, before Lily Owsley expertly blocked a Marta Segu effort. Spain continued to press, and with 25 on the clock Maddie Hinch tipped over a dangerous looping effort to maintain England's advantage.

It was a cagey affair but the flow of possession suggested that Spain were more likely to get the next goal, and so it proved on 36 minutes when Maria Tost superbly touched home for 1-1. The umpires took a close look at the pass into the D, but there was no use of the back of the stick and the goal stood, with nothing goalkeeper Amy Tennant could have done to prevent it.

England came close with a Giselle Ansley penalty corner but it was well palmed away by Maria Ruiz. Maddie Hinch was the busier goalkeeper in the final quarter though, making a good double save as the match entered the final ten minutes. With five to go Spain had a great chance after a corner was played back to the injector in space but she was unable to convert.

Martin had a sight of goal with the very last action of the match, but it was a difficult chance on the reverse and so a shootout ensued.

England took a 2-1 advantage early on after Martin and Toman scored, but when sub 'keeper Melanie Garcia saved a penalty stroke from Ansley, it marked a shift in momentum. Spain scored their next two, and with Evans and captain Hollie Pearne-Webb denied, the bronze medal went to Spain.

The tournament has seen highs and lows for Mark Hager's side, with some good play in the group stage and then a very heavy defeat in the semi final. Having been hurt by that loss to the Dutch, England showed resilience in the final match but of course they ultimately will have wanted to take home a medal from Antwerp.

Now the Great Britain squad will prepare for important Olympic qualifiers later in the year as the important matches continue to come thick and fast.

England 1
Martin (10', FG)

Spain 1
Tost (35', FG)

Spain win 3-2 on shootout

England: Hinch (GK), Unsworth, Ansley, Pearne-Webb, Toman, Martin, Townsend, Defroand, Owsley, Petty, Rayer
Subs: Tennant (GK), Balsdon, Evans, McCallin, Hunter, Petter
Unused (injured): Howard

1-0 Martin - scored
1-1 Tost - saved
2-1 Toman - scored
2-1 Oliva - saved
2-1 Ansley - stroke saved after Rayer fouled
2-2 B Garcia - scored
2-2 Evans - missed
2-3 Perez - scored
2-3 Pearne-Webb - missed

England Hockey Board Media release

England women lose to Spain in bronze-medal match

Spain celebrated victory after goalkeeper Maria Ruiz denied England captain Hollie Pearne-Webb in the shootout

England lost a dramatic shootout against Spain to finish fourth at the EuroHockey Championships.

The bronze-medal match ended 1-1, with Hannah Martin scoring England's goal, before Spain won the shootout 3-2.

England led 2-1 in the shootout but failed to convert their last two efforts in Antwerp, Belgium.

England, thrashed 8-0 by the Netherlands in the semi-finals, failed to finish in the top three at the event for the first time since 2003.

"I think we're disappointed with the whole tournament in general for us," England captain Hollie Pearne-Webb told BBC Sport. "We've got a lot to work on when we get home.

"We had some honest conversations about what went wrong and what needed to change [after the Netherlands defeat]. That was a huge step up in performance and now we need to make another step up."

The shootout drama began as England led 2-1, with Ellie Rayer earning a penalty stroke after an infringement by Spain goalkeeper Maria Ruiz. Spain replaced Ruiz with Melanie Garcia just for the penalty and the stand-in blocked Giselle Ansley's effort.

Begona Garcia made it 2-2, before England's Sarah Evans fired wide, and Beatriz Perez put Spain 3-2 up.

Ruiz then denied Pearne-Webb and although the England captain referred it to the video umpire, the decision stood.

A close-fought game saw Martin give England a 10th-minute lead after an Evans interception deep in the Spanish half.

Spain drew level six minutes after half-time as Begona Garcia fired a ball into the circle and Maria Tost diverted it past Maddie Hinch.

The England goalkeeper was then unable to repeat her shootout heroics of Rio 2016, although she did save from Spain captain Georgina Oliva.

Reigning Olympic champions Great Britain will now play a two-legged qualifier at home in November, which they must win to reach Tokyo 2020.

"Today was probably our best performance but we need to be consistent and score more than one goal if we want to win games," said England coach Mark Hager.

"It's a positive that we got to the top four and we exposed some young kids to this level as well."

BBC Sport

Ireland v Russia, Women's Euro Hockey Champs Match Report

©: Koen Suyk / World Sport Pics

An early morning start for the Irish Women’s final match of the Euro Hockey Tournament in Antwerp saw them achieve a 3 – 2 victory over Russia to finish 5th place overall in the tournament.

It was a quiet first quarter from both sides. The first chance of the game came from Russia’s Eroshina, although McFerran,saved comfortably, sending it back out in to play. There was little goal action from either side, Ireland managed to get into the Russian circle a number of times but failed to convert to get on the scoreboard.

Sadovaia had the opening goal of the game, converting a penalty corner for Russia to give them a lead ahead of half time. Ireland had a number of opportunities in the second quarter but Russian keeper Aleksandrina frustrated attempts by Duke and Mullan, while Daly and Mullan both sent shots wide of the mark on separate occasions.

Things heated up in the second half when a slap from Wilson sent the ball up the pitch with Nikki Evans on hand to receive it and take a shot to give Ireland and equaliser. A penalty corner to Ireland saw McCay’s shot deflected over the goal, while Hawkshaw was stopped by Russian defence shortly afterwards when Pinder found her well in the circle. McFerran was on form ahead of the third quarter whistle as Russia advanced in the Irish circle. She came out to meet the threat, sliding along the pitch to hit the ball out of harms way.

Evans supplied Hawkshaw with an opportunity in the final quarter and she managed to get around Aleksandrina to give Ireland a 2-1 lead. Evans was there again moments later narrowly missing out on extending Ireland’s lead.

A penalty corner for Russia saw McFerran save, but Leonova secured the rebound and brought the sides level again. Ireland continued to apply pressure with Anna O’Flanagan denied by Aleksandrina before hitting the post with a second chance shortly afterwards. A yellow card to Russia’s Sorokina in the final five minutes saw them down to 10 players to finish the game. Hawkshaw and Evans got the ball in to O’Flanagan again with 2 minutes left on the clock, Aleksandrina came out to save and Mullan managed to get it around her as she defended the goal giving Ireland a 3-2 lead to the end. 

Speaking after the match, Head Coach Sean Dancer said, “We always knew it was going to be a tough game and Russia are a good team; they certainly have some good players.

"Last game of the tournament is always nice and tough. In the end, there I things we can do better, especially in the attacking circle and today we only forced one penalty corner so we probably weren’t as smart as we’ve been in the last few games, but real credit to the girls they kept fighting and were able to get the win 3 – 2.”

Women’s Pool C: Ireland 3 (Evans, Hawkshaw, Mullan) Russia 2 (Sadovaia, Leonova)

Ireland: A McFerran, K Mullan, S McCay, E Tice, C Watkins, L Colvin, N Daly, H Matthews, S Hawkshaw, A O’Flanagan, Z Wilson,
Subs: R Upton, N Evans, G Pinder, B Barr, E Murphy, D Duke, A Meeke

Russia: S Salamatina, K Shulilina, K Koroleva, S Eroshina, A Kolpakova, M Bordolimova, M Drepenkinda, V Aleksandrina, B Sadovaia, A Leonova, E Sorokina
Subs: A Iashina, V Chepurnova, A Khalimova, I Cheplygina, D Yushkova, K Sanina, V Makeeva

Irish Hockey Association media release

Ireland women beat Russia to secure fifth place in Belgium

Sean Dancer’s new charges equal highest ever finish at EuroHockey Championships

Stephen Findlater

Ireland celebrate a goal against Germany earlier in the EuroHockey Championships, in which they finished fifth. Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/EPA
Katie Mullan dug out a scrappy winner to secure Ireland’s third win of the EuroHockey Championships week, their 3-2 result enough to secure fifth and their equal highest finish in the event.

On a sleepy morning at a hungover Wilrijkse stadium - bearing all the scars of the Belgian men’s celebrations from the night before - the Green Army’s performance matched the occasion.

Shirley McCay said they could hear the Red Lions celebrations until at their nearby hotel deep into the night, doing little to improve the mood for a 5.15am alarm call for a 9am tip-off.

Russia took advantage, Bogdana Sadovaia dragged into the bottom corner for 1-0 at half-time. Ireland switched to a more direct, less passive second half approach, and it paid dividends.

Zoe Wilson’s lengthy bash found Nikki Evans clean through one on one and her slap dropped in off a defender’s body on the line. Sarah Hawkshaw created a 2-1 lead with something of a miscontrol sending the Viktoriia Aleksandrina the wrong way and she poked home.

Aleksandra Leonova equalised from a corner rebound before Mullan pounced on the winner, a suitably scrappy one, with less than two minutes to go.

The skipper said she was “somewhat proud” of her team as they bounced back from the heartache of missing the semi-finals by a single goal to win against both Belgium and Russia with gutsy late winners.

It saw Ireland end the series with three wins, one draw and one defeat, likely to be enough to retain their place at eighth in the world.

With it, it pretty much rubber stamps a home draw in the Olympic qualifiers with China, Korea, Chile or USA the opposition which Mullan says is now the focus.

“Grinding it out and the team spirit we showed two days ago and today is something we have to bottle up and take with us through to October.

“We have it in the bank. We’ll take a couple of days rest and then hit the ground running for eight weeks of really tough preparation. We are under no illusions it will be a tough qualifier but we will be more than prepared.”

For new coach Sean Dancer, it has been a solid baptism into the role. He knows there is plenty of work to be done, pin-pointing the attacking and defensive circles as the two key zones to tighten up.

He is keen for the forwards to back themselves further rather than seeking the pass in the kill-zone while some additional toughness in front of the pads is another area of focus.

But the mood is upbeat and confident ahead of those dates, especially if a sizeable home support is in place.

And McCay - who could play in her 300th match in those qualifiers - feels the side is performing to a higher level than last year’s World Cup.

“Better, I think,” she said when asked to compare. “We’ve a real drive both in attack and defence, not that we didn’t have that last summer but I think we probably rode our luck last summer but at this tournament.

“We created our own performances and our own victories and, I think, on another day, we could have been getting draws and wins out of those games and maybe getting to a semi-final.

“The future of this team is bright and it’s something we want to take forward.”

Pool C: Ireland 3 (N Evans, S Hawkshaw, K Mullan) Russia 2 (B Sadovaia, A Leonova)

Ireland: A McFerran, K Mullan, S McCay, L Tice, C Watkins, L Colvin, N Daly, H Matthews, S Hawkshaw, A O’Flanagan, Z Wilson. Subs: R Upton, N Evans, G Pinder, B Barr, A Meeke, D Duke, L Murphy

Russia: V Aleksandrina, S Salamatina, K Shumilina, K Koroleva, S Eroshina, A Kolpakova, M Bordolimova, M Drepenkina, B Sadovaia, A Leonova, E Sorokina. Subs: V Chepurnova, A Khalimova, I Cheplygina, D Yushkova, K Sanina, V Akeeva, A Iashina

Umpires: A Faias (POR), C Martin-Schmets (BEL)

The Irish Times

Mullan strikes late to secure Ireland's top-tier status at European Hockey Championships

The 3-2 win also ensures Ireland Women’s place in the 2021 edition of the tournament.

 Nikki Evans celebrates scoring for Ireland. Source: WSP Koen Suyk

KATIE MULLAN SNATCHED a late winning goal in Antwerp to secure Ireland Women’s fifth-place finish at the European Hockey Championships with a 3-2 victory over Russia.

After missing out on a place in the semi-finals earlier this week following their draw against Germany, this morning’s victory ensures a top five finish and means Ireland will also feature at the 2021 edition of the tournament, retaining their status as a top-tier hockey nation.

After a quiet opening period, Bogdana Sadovaia gave the Russians the lead before Nikki Evans brought Ireland level. Sarah Hawkshaw nudged the Girls in Green into the lead, but Aleksandra Leonova’s goal looked to have earned a share of the spoils for Russia.

With two minutes remaining, Mullan took advantage of Ireland’s numerical advantage following a yellow card for for Russia’s Sorokina and found the net to secure the win.

“We always knew it was going to be a tough game and Russia are a good team; they certainly have some good players,” Ireland head coach Sean Dancer said after the game.

    Last game of the tournament is always nice and tough. In the end, there I things we can do better, especially in the attacking circle and today we only forced one penalty corner so we probably weren’t as smart as we’ve been in the last few games.

“But real credit to the girls they kept fighting and were able to get the win.”

Ireland 3
Russia 2

The 42

Ireland women beat Russia to stay in top tier

Ireland women's fifth place in Antwerp equalled their best finish at a EuroHockey Championship

Ireland's women defeated Russia 3-2 to finish fifth at the EuroHockey Championship in Antwerp as they retained their top-tier status.

Needing only a draw to remain in Europe's elite top eight, Ireland went behind in the second quarter as Bogdana Sadovaia put the Russians ahead.

But Nikki Evans levelled for the Irish just after half-time before Sarah Hawkshaw gave them the lead.

Aleksandra Leonova got Russia on terms before Katie Mullan's late winner.

Ireland women's win saw them avoiding the relegation which the men's squad suffered on Saturday following a 4-0 defeat by Wales.

The Irish women's fifth place equalled their previous best finish at the European Championships in 2009.

The squad's attentions will now turn to the Olympic qualifying tournament which takes place in Dublin in either the final weekend of October or the first weekend in November.

BBC Sport

U-21 women’s hockey team lose again

The friendly series is part of Bangladesh’s preparation for next month’s Women’s Junior AHF Cup in Singapore

Action from the friendly series between Bangladesh U-21 women's team and Sports Authority of India Academy in Dhaka Sunday BHF

After firing blanks in their first three matches of the friendly series, Bangladesh U-21 women’s hockey team finally scored against Sports Authority of India Academy but still went down 9-3 in the fourth game at Maulana Bhasani National Stadium in Dhaka Sunday.

Lalruatfeli Mesabi, Sakshi and Monisha Chaotiyan led the way for the visiting side with a brace each, while Nadira also bagged two for the home side.

The fifth game of the seven-match series will be held Monday at the same venue.

The friendly series is part of Bangladesh’s preparation for next month’s Women’s Junior AHF Cup in Singapore.

Dhaka Tribune

All eyes on Bloemfontein for the 2019 IPT

The 2019 South African Hockey Senior Interprovincial tournament gets underway in Bloemfontein at the University of Free State. With the South African sides doing well at the African Hockey Road to Tokyo 2020 event there is a great bit of momentum going into the tournament. Players who are trying to impress the national coaches will be looking at this as a major opportunity while others will look to cement their spots.

In the Men’s A Section all eyes will be on the defending champions the KZN Raiders who are without their 2018 gold medal coach Sihle Ntuli and both goal scorers in last year’s final are unavailable for them. They have several national players in Jethro Eustice, Jonty Robinson, Matt de Sousa, Taine Paton, Mo Mea, Siya Nolutshungu and Gowan Jones. They are joined in Pool A by the Northern Blues and both Western Province sides with some tantalising match ups.

Pool B of the A Section is headed up by last years runners-up Southern Gauteng, an incredibly star-studded side. South African Men’s hero Nic Spooner will be looking to add to his goal from last years final, while Colin Fielding’s side is littered with big names including Rassie Pieterse, Brynn Cleak, Gareth Heynes and Owen Mvimbi to name a few. They will take on the SA U21 side, their “B” side Witsies and Eastern Province.

In the Women’s A Section the defending champions Southern Gauteng will once again be heavily favoured. The squad that has been announced features 10 capped outdoor players, including 2019 Premier Hockey League player of the tournament Lisa Deetlefs. They also feature a host of players that won the SA Women’s Indoor IPT earlier this year showing their winning mentality in the squad. They are joined in Group A by SA U21, Northern Blues and Eastern Province.

Last years runners up Western Province will look to go one further this year and will look for Jade Mayne to continue with her fine form shown in the Premier Hockey League. Having Dirkie Chamberlain in their numbers is a great addition for them from last year while the likes of Andrea Leader, Stephanie Botha and Angela Welham will all look to step up for the Cape side. They are grouped in pool B by the hosts Free State, SPAR KZN Raiders and North West.

Eight teams will play out the Men’s B Section tournament while ten will be looking to win the women’s B section with teams looking to win promotion to the A Section.

The A section matches will be streamed live on the Shoott South Africa Facebook pages which is free of charge.

SA Hockey Association media release

Maryland field hockey anticipates its depth will be an asset during 2019 campaign

David Suggs

Defender Bodil Keus protects the ball during Maryland field hockey’s 3-1 win over Rutgers at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex on Oct. 5, 2018. (Andi Wenck/The Diamondback)

After suffering a second straight defeat in the national championship game last fall, Maryland field hockey felt ready to turn another disappointment into a progression. The Terps wanted to get back on the field immediately and learn from their mistakes.

There was just one problem: the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex was set for a $1.5 million turf replacement and was shut down during the spring semester. With their home field unavailable for the first half of the offseason, the Terps had to get creative with their training program.

At times, Maryland traveled to Towson to practice on the Tigers’ AstroTurf field. When that option wasn’t available, the Terps even practiced on infill grass at the Indoor Bubble, a facility near Maryland’s golf course.

Despite the difficult circumstances, the Terps made the most of their training. The team has demonstrated a competitive spirit and flexibility, as Maryland strives to finish this season as national champions.

“[Preseason] has been outstanding,” coach Missy Meharg said. “You can tell their intensity is about winning, … they’re thriving on winning and competing to win.”

Maryland will be looking to replace the production of Big Ten Player of the Year Linnea Gonzales, second team All-Big Ten selection Nike Lorenz and starting goalkeeper Sarah Holliday, all of whom left the program during the offseason.

However, those departures have created opportunities for younger players, who have met the challenge they’ve been presented with.

“I think everyone is stepping up into new roles really well,” said forward Jen Bleakney, who transferred from Syracuse this offseason. “With the depth of our team, I think we’re really growing into positions and filling those [voids].”

Freshmen Belle Bressler and Emma Deberdine have been revelations, posting impressive performances in the offseason to ensure they will play a critical role in Maryland’s midfield this season.

“The two of them really have put us on the front foot in terms of depth,” Meharg said.

And it’s an aspect of the 2019 edition of Meharg’s squad that’s not lost on the older members of the team. The freshmen’s preseason showings have left an impression on the squad’s veterans.

“[They’re] really, really competitive,” defender Bodil Keus said. “[They bring] a lot of energy and it just lifts up our whole team.”

Maryland’s counter-attacking style of play requires that players are at peak fitness levels, with all 10 outfield players bringing energy. But it also opens opportunities for rotation players to make a mark.

Last season, 18 outfield players featured in double-digit games, providing depth that helped the Terps compete deep into the NCAA tournament. Meharg hopes for similar production from multiple sources this season.

“We want to play really fast, attacking hockey,” Meharg said. “We want to be able to stretch the field out and up so fast that the defense can’t even counterdefend.”

Maryland faces a tough schedule, including 10 teams that finished in the top 25 last fall. After starting their season with two home matchups against Richmond and New Hampshire, the Terps will host perennial ACC powerhouses Duke and Boston College in the Big Ten/ACC Cup.

With many talented opponents coming up, it will be imperative for the Terps to bring heightened energy through the first few games of the season. However, with ample depth and a commitment to competition, Maryland will be in a prime position to return to the pinnacle of the field hockey world.

“We have so much talent on our team,” Bleakney said, “With the incomings and the returners — [it’ll be exciting to see] just what that plays out to be this season.”

The Diamondback

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