Record: 2-0 (wins over Hartwick and Ohio State)
Games left: One game to decide it all. Wednesday night at Rutgers.
Title Chances: 5 out of 5. Northwestern, a team that was third to last in the Big Ten, knocked off Penn State last week. That keeps conference leading Penn State at 15 points. If Maryland, who has 13 points, wins at Rutgers on Wednesday, they will be the Big Ten regular season champions.
The game that Maryland needed most to break their way went their way. Maryland hasn't lost since October 5th and they are playing as hot as almost any team in the country right now. Wednesday's game will decide who wins the Big Ten title. If Maryland wins, it's theirs. I really like their chances.
Field Hockey (Big Ten Regular Season Champions)
I am bumping Women's Soccer from its normal position because I want to give field hockey their due. On Saturday, I was fortunate enough to cover field hockey win Maryland's first ever Big Ten title when the #2 ranked Terps defeated the #14 Iowa Hawkeyes 4-1. The Terps started their Big Ten regular season with a loss at Northwestern but they ran the table the rest of the way, finishing with a 7-1 conference record. They went 16-2 overall in the regular season.
Similar to men's soccer, the Terps needed a game to break their way to grab complete control of the title and it did. Northwestern, who would have received the #1 seed in the Big Ten Tournament because of their head-to-head win over Maryland, lost at Penn State the day before. That gave Maryland at least a share of the title going into their senior day finale and by the time the game was over, the Big Ten regular season championship was all theirs.
The Big Ten historically cares about regular season titles rather than tournament titles and Maryland Field Hockey just gave Maryland its first one ever.
The Big Ten tournament starts on Thursday in Ann Arbor with Maryland taking on Ohio State. If Maryland advances they will play the winner of Penn State and Michigan in the semifinal. Maryland played close games with both of those two teams in the regular season. The championship game will be held on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
Record: 0-2 (losses to Iowa and Nebraska)
Games left: 8 games left. Link here.
Title Chances: 0 out of 5. Even if the Terps won out they still couldn't win because they are too far behind.
It was another disappointing week for volleyball as they were swept twice in three days at home by both Iowa and 14th ranked Nebraska. Iowa is third to last in the standings and they had the same amount of conference wins as Maryland (2) going into the game last week. The Terps have shown fight before against nationally ranked teams like Purdue when they have come to College Park but that wasn't on display as much against the Hawkeyes.
The Terps were tied 20-20 in the first set but Iowa took five of the next six points and won 25-21. They beat the Terps badly in the next set, 25-17, and then took the third set 25-20 to get the win. Maryland fought hard in the first two sets against Nebraska, losing 25-23 and 25-22. The third set was all Nebraska and they won 25-16 to take the match.
Record: 0-1. They lost their season finale on the road at Penn State 1-0 on October 30th
Grade: F. The Terps needed a result, any result except a loss, to stay alive and qualify for the Big Ten tournament but once again, they couldn't come up with it when they needed it most.
Title chances: 0 out of 5. The Terps were already statistically eliminated but with the loss and Nebraska's win against Rutgers, the Terps were bumped from the eighth spot in the conference standings (due to Nebraska's head to head win against Maryland) and weren't able to go to the Big Ten Tournament.
The Maryland women's soccer season is over. This was a season of missed opportunities and after being picked to finish third in the conference at the beginning of the year, the Terps failed to find their footing, finished 9th in the standings and missed the Big Ten Tournament altogether. They finished with an overall record of 5-7-6 (3-5-5).
The three conference wins came against Rutgers early in the year (they finished 4th in the standings), Iowa towards the middle of the year (they finished 5th in the standings) and Purdue who finished dead last in the conference. This team simply couldn't produce results when they needed them against teams that were ranked close to them in the standings.
The Terps were shut out in their first two games of the year and Maryland's anemic offense gave them trouble for the rest of the season. The Terps were shut out nine times over the course of the season. After beating Rutgers on September 12th, they got only two more wins the rest of the season and at one point had four ties in a row. The Terps couldn't finish on offense and that is the main reason why they won't be playing post-season soccer for the second straight year.
Women's Cross Country
Women's Cross Country finished their inaugural season with the Big Ten Championships in Iowa City and they finished in last place, 14th out of 14 teams.
Our first winter sport of the year! Wrestling kicked off their season with the annual Terrapin Duals (where the Terps beat up on much-lesser teams).
Record: 4-0 (wins against Alderson-Broaddus, Davidson, Johns Hopkins and Kutztown)
Grade: A+. Maryland dominated all four of these schools and was never seriously challenged in any of the duals.
Title Chances: Like the Volleyball team, Maryland Wrestling has zero (I repeat ZERO!) chance to win the Big Ten title. The elite teams are on another level but Maryland's first season in the Big Ten should give us an indication of just how far they have to go. Maryland has beaten Big Ten programs like Purdue and Nebraska in the past few years so they can get some wins but they're still far removed from Penn State, Iowa, Minnesota and Ohio State.
Games left: The season starts a little more in earnest when George Mason comes to town on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. The link to the rest of Maryland's season schedule can be found here.