MERION STATION, Pa. – Saint Joseph’s sophomore forward Anna Willocks picked up right where she left off a season ago, scoring two goals on Friday afternoon, but the Hawk field hockey team dropped its season opener to #6 Maryland, 6-2, in the Conference Cup at Ellen Ryan Field.
Maryland (1-0) opened the scoring on a penalty corner goal from Grace Balsdon just less than eight minutes into the game. Willocks equalized with 5:33 remaining in the first half, as senior Emily Nonnemacher and sophomore Monica Tice earned assists on the blast off a penalty corner opportunity.
Unfortunately for the Hawks, the tie was short-lived, as Welma Luus rocketed home a shot just 33 seconds later to restore the Terrapins’ lead. Balsdon converted another penalty with 2:37 left in the half to send the visitors into the locker room with a 3-1 lead.
Maryland extended the margin 12 minutes into the second half as Emma Rissinger opened her account by deflecting a long pass from Lein Holsboer up over senior goalkeeper Amelia Deibler.
Saint Joseph’s (0-1) got back within a pair as Willocks chased down a loose ball and slid it past Maryland’s Sarah Holliday with 20:10 remaining, but Rissinger tallied again five minutes later to push the advantage back to three.
Holsboer notched her fourth assist of the game with just over five minutes to go as she laid a ball off for Luus, whose blast into the upper half of the cage closed the scoring.
Deibler finished with nine saves for the Hawks, while Holliday made one for the Terrapins. Maryland enjoyed a 24-9 advantage in shots and a 7-4 edge in penalty corners for the afternoon.
“For day one, it was a good performance,” head coach Lynn Farquhar said. “Maryland is a top program coming off of a Big Ten championship last season, so for us to be able to put two on the board and string together some good attacking play shows that we can compete as a team.
“We need to handle the ball a little better and make smarter choices, but that’s part of our growing process. I think it was a good start to the fall season, and we’re ready to get back out there on Sunday.”
The Hawks return to their home turf to close out the Conference Cup with a 3:00 p.m. contest against local rival Temple.