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Terps field hockey coach Missy Meharg wins 500th game

Maryland field hockey coach Missy Meharg speaks with her team after beating Michigan State.
Maryland field hockey coach Missy Meharg speaks with her team after beating Michigan State. (Daniel Kucin Jr. / BALTIMORE SUN)

Maryland field hockey coach Missy Meharg won her 500th game Sunday when the No. 8 Terps beat Miami University, 6-2, in Oxford, Ohio.

The victory made Meharg, 52, the fourth Division I field hockey coach to win 500 games.

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In her 28 years coaching the Terps, Meharg (500-122-9) has led Maryland to seven NCAA titles, 15 final fours, 20 conference championships and has been named coach of the year by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association nine times, a record.

The win came over RedHawks coach Inako Puzo, the husband of one of Meharg's former players.

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"It's just really special to reach 500 wins here with [former Terp] Keli Smith Puzo here on the sidelines with Miami and [assistant coach] Dina Rizzo as well," Meharg said in a game recap posted on the Maryland athletics website. "The hype that comes with the opportunity of reaching 500 wins made me reflect after the game. We played so smart and that's Maryland hockey. The tactics were very well followed by this team. I couldn't be more privileged to have 500 wins with a team that responds so well to coaching."

The win was the eighth straight for Maryland (10-3, 4-0 Big Ten Conference), which started the season 2-3 after losing consecutive games to Boston College, Duke and Albany.

The Terps led, 3-0, at halftime after goals by senior Sarah Sprink, freshman Linnea Gonzales (Patterson Mill) and senior Welma Luus. Luus scored again, with 22 minutes remaining in the game, and sophomore Lein Holsboer scored Maryland's fifth goal less than three minutes later.

The RedHawks (7-6) scored their first goal with 13 minutes to play in the second half and added another with nine minutes to play to draw within three goals, 5-2.

Junior Courtney Deena scored the Terps' sixth and final goal with 14 seconds to play.

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