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Terps to face rematch with Princeton in first round of NCAA Field Hockey Tournament

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The Maryland Terrapins will face the Princeton Tigers in the first round of the NCAA Field Hockey Tournament. It is a rematch of a regular season contest the Terps won 8-1. The winner of this game will face either Wake Forest or Albany.

Todd C

The Basics:

WHO: Princeton Tigers @ Maryland Terrapins

WHAT: NCAA Field Hockey Tournament first round game

WHERE: Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland

WHEN: Saturday, November 15, 2014 at 11:30 am Eastern

WATCH: In person

A look back

When the Terps and the Tigers met on a rainy mid-October Wednesday afternoon at Princeton, Maryland was in a stretch where they were simply steamrolling opponents and Princeton was no exception. The Terrapins won that game by an 8-1 final - exploding for six second half goals. Maryland held a 2-0 lead at halftime and had extended their advantage to four before Princeton managed a goal.

The Terps continued to roll adding six wins to a season long 13 game winning streak before falling in to Northwestern the Big Ten Tournament championship game. The Tigers also picked up their game winning five of their last six games including their 4-3 win over Monmouth in Wednesday's play in game. The Tigers will be the first opponent to have a chance to have studied the way that both Penn State and Northwestern were able to contain the Terrapins' attack. Fans should not expect a repeat of the first game.

A look at the Princeton Tigers

Season record: 8-10

How they qualified for the NCAA Tournament: Automatic Qualifier as the Ivy League champions. Finished 6-1 in league play.

Record in their last five games: 4-1

Record vs. NCAA Tournament teams: 1-7

RPI: 22

Princeton is a program with a long tradition of quality play. As recently as two years ago they won the NCAA Championship beating Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina in succession to do so. However, the Tigers have struggled in the 2014 season.

Princeton averages just 2.33 goals per game while conceding 2.56. Since their game with Maryland, they have begun to find an offensive rhythm, however. The Tigers have scored 19 of their 42 goals in their last six games including four scores in each of the last two. Two players, forwards Maddie Copeland and Allison Evans lead Princeton in goals with eight each.

Saturday's game will be the 28th all-time between the Tigers and the Terps. Maryland holds a 19-7-1 record in the series and Princeton's last win came on a penalty stroke in overtime in the 2012 national semifinal.

In the other game

The day's second contest features Wake Forest of the Atlantic Coast Conference and Albany of the America East. The winners of the two games will face off on Sunday with that victor earning a trip to the Final Four. In anticipation that Maryland will advance and in the interest of being a full service website, we have a brief report on both Albany and Wake Forest.

A look at the Albany Great Danes

Season record: 18-2

How they qualified for the NCAA Tournament: Automatic Qualifier as the America East Tournament champions. Finished 5-0 in league play.

Record in their last five games: 5-0

Record vs. NCAA Tournament teams: 1-1

RPI: 18

The Great Danes are making their fourth NCAA Tournament appearance and enter the tourney as owners of a 12 game winning streak - the longest active such streak in Division 1 field hockey. They are a potent offensive squad that averages 3.54 goals per game which is good for third best in the NCAA. They've given up only 15 goals on the season and their 2.79 scoring margin is behind only Maryland's 2.96.

Sophomore forward Paula Heuser leads not only Albany but the nation in points per game (3.40), goals per game (1.45), and goals (29). Anna Botino, with 10 goals, is the only other Great Danes player who has reached double figures in goals.

The Great Danes have never played the Demon Deacons. Should Albany advance to play Maryland, it will mark the third meeting between the schools. The Terps have won the previous two.

A look at the Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Season record: 14-6

How they qualified for the NCAA Tournament: Automatic Qualifier as the ACC Tournament champions. Finished 3-3 in league play.

Record in their last five games: 4-1

Record vs. NCAA Tournament teams: 6-5

RPI: 5

The Demon Deacons, who won three consecutive national championships from 2002-2004 and have twice been runner-up, are returning to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010 and are making their 12th trip overall. After finishing 11-6 in the regular season, Wake Forest picked the right time to go on a winning streak sweeping past Louisville, Virginia, and Syracuse in the ACC Tournament.

Statistically, the Demon Deacons are something of a high middle of the pack team. They score 2.35 goals per game good for 30th in D1, give up 1.6 goals per game placing them 20th, and they are 26th with a .73 scoring margin. Saturday's meeting will be the first ever between the Great Danes and the Demon Deacons. Should they advance to play Maryland, the teams will meet for the 41st time with the Terps holding a 29-11 all-time edge.