Oct. 17, 2006
WASHINGTON - No.19 American University's field hockey team will face the No.1 Maryland Terrapins on Oct. 18 at 4 p.m. on familiar territory, as the turf at Maryland was once called home for the Eagles. If the battle results in victory, Head Coach Steve Jennings will receive his 100th career win in his eighth season with AU.
In his previous seven seasons with the Eagles, Jennings has earned the National Field Hockey Coaches' Association D-I Coach of the Year, Patriot League Coach of the Year, has led the squad to three consecutive Patriot League Titles (2003, 2004, 2005), three consecutive NCAA Tournament bids (2003, 2004, 2005), and American University's first-ever NCAA Tournament victory (2004).
Going into the 2006 season with a 90-42 record, Jennings started just 10 wins away. Being forced to miss two games while he was coaching the U.S. National Team in the Samsung World Cup in Madrid leaves him with 99 victories. When Jennings reaches 100 in his eighth season, he will be the first Patriot League Coach to do so in this time-frame, with Lafayette's Head Coach Ann Gold holding the current PL record, tallying her 100th career win in her ninth season with the Leopards.
Jennings' focus still remains the same. "It's always a great challenge to face the No. 1 team, especially when they are your local rivals." Jennings said. "The entire team is excited and prepared. We continue to progress and this is a great opportunity as we persist in reaching our peak."
The Eagles are looking for revenge in tomorrow's game after the No.1 Terps ended both their 2004 and 2005 season in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Maryland went 2-0 in the teams' two meetings last year, while the 2004 series was split, with AU winning the first game 3-1. Momentum will play a huge role in this rivalry with No. 19 AU currently 10-4-0 on the season, and 3-0 in conference play facing Maryland who stands at 15-1 in the season, losing only to Duke.
American University sisters Denise and Camila Infante (Santiago, Chile/Santiago College) also have another battle at stake. Third in points for Maryland and playing a major role for the Terrapin midfield and defense is sister Paula Infante (Santiago, Chile/Santiago College). With each of the Infante's ranking amongst their team's top this season, expect nothing less in tomorrow's match-up.