No. 5 Maryland field hockey will play No. 16 Princeton (10-6) on Saturday in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament.
This will be the second time Maryland and Princeton play each other this year, with the Terrapins taking the first game, 3-0. Maryland coach Missy Meharg was adamant that Princeton is very different from the team Maryland beat earlier this season. "They are much improved," she said. "We always know that when it comes to November, the Princeton team will be a new team."
Maryland (19-3) is on a 17 game-winning streak, including a 5-1 win over No. 10 Michigan for the Big Ten Tournament championship. Senior Welma Luus was named Tournament MVP after setting a Big Ten Tournament record with seven goals in the three game tournament.
While the Terrapins achieved their goal of winning the Big Ten, many more goals lay on the horizon. "The NCAA is a whole different tournament," said senior Sarah Sprink. "Obviously, we are excited we finished the Big Ten on top, but this is a whole new tournament."
Princeton was undefeated in conference play, but went only 3-6 in non-conference play. All of their losses were to Top 20 teams, and five of the losses were to teams in the Top 10 (North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Syracuse, and UConn). Senior Maddie Copeland leads the Tigers with 34 points.
This is the fourth straight year Maryland and Princeton have faced each other in the NCAA Tournament, with Maryland winning twice.
The game will start at 2, and will be played at Syracuse's J.S. Coyne Stadium. The game be streamed online through Cuse.com.