Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Field Hockey: Maryland Terrapins vs Syracuse

Saturday morning I woke up and packed up my new Think Tank photographers belt and headed over to Byrd Stadium to pick up my photo credential for the football game later in the day. After picking it up I headed down to the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex to take photos of the field hockey team face No. 7 ranked Syracuse.

It was very odd for Maryland to host a field hockey tournament (the Maryland Invitational) on the same weekend as a football game against a top-25 team. None-the-less I headed down to get the coverage while Al hung out at Byrd and focused on the first quarter of football.

I've walked into the field hockey and lacrosse complex dozens of times but this time was different. The smell of grilled hot dogs and hamburgers swirled in the air and the sounds of fans partying before kickoff over in Lot 4 permeated the field hockey stadium. As usual, no other photographers were present.

There was plenty of light for the game but I didn't manage to get very many good shots. Both teams were well matched and the Terps were lethargic at times. They tightened up in the second half and I managed to put together a decent enough photoset but it was a far cry from some of the dominating games the team put together last year. Others in the crowd swear it's untrue but I'm convinced that the partying atmosphere and the smell of tailgating affected their play. Syracuse was good but not great and it seemed like if this had been a regular Saturday or Sunday game Maryland would've blown them out of the water.

It took a lot of work to hike across campus from Byrd Stadium to the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex with all my equipment. All told it's probably 25-35lbs of glass, probably more. And it's awkward too. Navigating through parking lots filled with drunk fans was a challenge.

After the football settled in the parking lots quieted down significantly and the return trip back across campus was a lot easier. It was still and uphill battle (literally) but I didn't have to contend with lots of people walking around in a daze.

Once the field hockey game ended I high-tailed it back to Byrd stadium for the football game. I wanted to miss as little as possible of my first daylight home game in Byrd.

My photos from the Maryland Terrapins vs Syracuse field hockey game are on Flickr. You can also read my article about the Terps vs Syracuse field hockey results over on the DC Sports Box.


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