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Field hockey seeks first B1G at Michigan

After dropping their conference opener at Northwestern, Maryland's field hockey team hits the road again to face another quality opponent - the Michigan Wolverines.

WHO: Maryland Terrapins @ Michigan Wolverines

WHAT: Field hockey B1G Conference game

WHERE: Ocker Field, University of Michigan

WHEN: Friday, September 26, 2014 at 6:00 pm

WATCH: BTN Plus (BTN2GO.COM)

Following their 3-2 loss  at Northwestern last week Maryland's field hockey team fell to fourth in the latest coaches' poll. When the Terps traveled to Evanston the Wildcats were ranked 15th in that poll. This week, Maryland's task gets no easier. They will travel to Ann Arbor to take on the 14th ranked Michigan Wolverines.

Wolverines on the turf

2013

In 2013 the Wolverines finished with an overall record of 12-8 and were 4-2  in conference play. They lost in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. Michigan was a perfect 8-0 on their home field in 2013 and  have won 15 consecutive home games with their last loss coming October 5, 2012 to Northwestern. The Wolverines did not reach the NCAA Tournament.

2014

Michigan comes into this contest on a roll. Since dropping their first two games in Chapel Hill to North Carolina and Wake Forest in the ACC-B1G Challenge they have won six straight games. Though the competition overall hasn't been overly daunting the streak does include a win at home over a quality Providence squad and a much more impressive 3-2 overtime win in State College over then sixth ranked Penn State.

In a situation eerily parallel to Northwestern's Michigan's top scorer graduated but their next three leading scorers return. Even dismissing their nine goal outburst against an overmatched VCU squad, the Wolverines find the net effectively with a 2.71 goals per game average. With five players having scored at least three goals, their scoring has been quite balanced. The Wolverines average over 16 shots per game and out shoot their opponents by nearly a two to one margin.

Players to watch

Leslie Smith, #1, redshirt senior, back. After recording a career high ten goals as a redshirt junior, Smith leads the Wolverines with six goals through eight games this season. With two assists, she has a team high 14 points.

Ainsley McCallister, #2, redshirt senior, midfielder. McCallister is not a prolific scorer but leads Michigan with nine assists this season a total that already tops her previous career best of eight which she recorded in her sophomore season.

Shannon Scavelli, #3, junior, forward. Michigan's second leading scorer with five goals and three assists, Scavelli has also stepped up her game. The junior scored six goals with a single assist appearing in all 20 of Michigan's games as a sophomore. Her 13 points in just eight games  2014 equals her output for all of the 2013 season.

History

The Terps and the Wolverines have met 13 times previously and Maryland has won 12 of those 13 contests. The teams met last year in College Park where the Terrapins picked up a 2-0 win. Michigan's only win came in 2001 when the teams met at Kent State. The Wolverines won that game 2-0 picking up the program's only national championship in the process.