WHO: Maryland Terrapins @Indiana Hoosiers
WHAT: Field hockey B1G Conference game
WHERE: IU Field Hockey Complex, Bloomington, IN
WHEN: Friday, October 24, 2014 at 3:00 pm
Friday's field hockey match between the Maryland Terrapins and the Indiana Hoosiers appears to be a tale of two teams headed in opposite directions. The Terps have won eight straight games - most by a wide margin - while the Hoosiers have dropped two in a row and five of their last seven.
Maryland has been on an offensive tear of late but suffered a poor shooting day in their most recent match a 4-0 win over Rutgers. Though the Terps managed 26 shots only 11 were on cage. Still, the Terrapins have scored more goals in their last six games than Indiana has scored for the season.
Hoosiers on the turf
There's no sugar-coating this: Indiana had a mediocre 2013 season. The Hoosiers finished 9-10 overall and 1-5 in Big Ten Play. In the B1G Tournament, they were routed 6-0 by Michigan State. During the season, they played three ranked teams and were shut out by them all.
After the first seven games of the 2014 season, it appeared that Indiana had taken a great leap forward. The Hoosiers were 7-0, had recorded four shutouts in those first seven games, and reached number 17 in the coaches poll. Then, just as they had in 2013, they hit conference play and promptly dropped three straight this time to ranked opponents Iowa, Northwestern, and Michigan.
With those losses, the 2014 season appeared to be headed on a similar trajectory as it had in 2013. But then the Hoosiers bounced back. They toppled then fourth ranked Duke and followed that with a win over number 20 Michigan State. Hope for a revival was short lived, however, as Indiana then dropped two straight by identical 2-1 scores first to Ohio State and then at Penn State. The Hoosiers enter the game with Maryland having lost two straight. For the season, they are 9-5 overall and 1-5 in conference play.
Indiana is somewhat offensively challenged. Their scoring average of 2.28 goals per game is seventh in the eight team league. When they do score, it tends to be in the second half where they have registered 21 of their 32 goals. They average just over twelve shots and four penalty corners per game.
Players to watch
Audra Heilman, #9, senior, forward. Coming off a solid 2013 campaign when she picked up 10 goals and 12 assists, Heilman enters the game with Maryland as IU's leader in all three scoring categories. Thus far she has totaled 13 goals, handed out 5 assists for her team leading 31 points.
Nicole Volgraf, #6, redshirt junior, forward. Volgraf, who sat out the 2013 season, has returned to become Indiana's second leading scorer in 2014. Though she's only scored six goals on the season, she is the only other consistent threat in the attacking zone for Indiana.
While Friday's game will officially be the second meeting between the schools, their only other game was a Maryland win in 1975. Given the intervening years and the changes in the game itself, one could consider this the first true meeting of the two programs.
With their upsets of Duke and Michigan State, Indiana has shown that they are capable of surprising some teams particularly on their home field. However, the Hoosiers shouldn't threaten a Maryland squad that is riding the crest of an eight game winning streak and is playing like a team on a mission. With a win at Indiana Friday and another over Iowa in the final regular season game, the Terps are assured of no worse than a tie for the conference title in their first Big Ten season.