Maryland field hockey will welcome five new faces to next season’s squad, coach Missy Meharg announced in a press release Wednesday.
Defender Logan Anderson, forward/midfielder Anna Castaldo, forward Anoushka Chiswell, defender Maura Verleg and defender Rayne Wright join Meharg’s squad, hoping to push the Terps beyond their second-round appearance in the NCAA tournament last campaign.
Anderson, a Medford Lakes, New Jersey native, was a force in Shawnee High School’s defensive line, earning first-team all-conference and all-county honors in each of her final three years with the Renegades.
A top-10 recruit in her class per MAX Field Hockey, Castaldo starred at Maine Endwell Senior High School, racking up 155 goals and 62 assists en route to back-to-back New York state titles in 2018 and 2019. Castaldo’s shelves are littered with a litany of honors — New York Player of the Year, two-time all-American, the fifth-most goals in state history. And with leading point-scorer Madison Maguire graduating, Maryland will be hoping Castaldo can help shore up some of the goalscoring duties next year.
“A crafty attacker mastering a world-class backhand shot,” Meharg said in the release, “Anna’s tight hands shred defenders and lend to quick passes.”
Global scouting has been a tenet in Meharg’s tenure. Last campaign, the Terps’ international players — Bodil Keus, Linda Cobano, Hannah Bond, Nathalie Fiechter, and Bibi Donraadt — combined for 93 starts.
And the trend continued in 2020 with Chiswell and Verleg’s commitments.
Chiswell impressed while at St. Margaret’s College in Christchurch, New Zealand, earning Team MVP honors. Her squad — Carlton Redcliff Premier Senior Women’s Team — cruised to an undefeated record last campaign, winning three trophies in the process.
A decorated track star, Chiswell projects to bring pace and off-ball skill into the Terps’ offensive line.
“It felt like a home away from home, especially coming from 18 hours away,” Chiswell said about her new team in the release.
Meanwhile, Verleg joins Maryland’s Dutch contingent, transferring to College Park after a year at New Hampshire.
While in Durham, Verleg established herself as one of the best players in the America East, starting all 18 games on defense. She was named America East Rookie of the Year for her strong displays, the centerpiece in a series of postseason honors the Geldrop, The Netherlands native received.
Lastly, Wright — another top-10 recruit — scored 69 goals and 50 assists at Liberty High School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Wright was named a third-team All-American in 2018, and won her conference MVP in 2018 and 2019.
She will hope to slot into a defense that finished 2019 as one of the country’s best. The Terps conceded 18 goals, tied for the best defensive record in the country.
With the coronavirus pandemic in full force, Maryland does not know when it will be able to meet up again.
But, it’s clear the incoming class has made an impression on Meharg and her staff.
“This class that is adjusting to our life right now is strong-minded, patient, resilient, compassionate and intellectually inclusive,” Meharg said in the release. “We can’t wait for when we can be together.”