clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

No. 7 Maryland field hockey vs. California preview

New, 1 comment

The Terps look to win their second and final game of the Terrapin Invitational.

Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics

The No. 7 Maryland Terrapins will conclude its final game of the Terrapin Invitational with a Sunday matchup versus the California Golden Bears.

Maryland is coming off a defensive dominating victory over No. 21 UMass on Friday, by a score of 1-0. In the victory over the Minutewomen, defender Riley Donnelly registered the lone goal for the Terps in the second quarter with a nimble spin move.

Maryland (3-1) is seeking to improve their home record to 3-0, as they welcome the Golden Bears (3-1) to College Park. Cal is coming off an imposing road victory over the Towson Tigers on Friday after it beat its opponent by a lopsided score of 4-1. The Golden Bears are currently on a two-game winning streak, as they look to extend it versus the Terps.

The last time these two teams played each other was in 2018 when the Terrapins dominated the Golden Bears, 5-0.

The game is set to start at 2 p.m. on Sunday and will be aired on BTN Plus.

Now let’s take a look at the California Golden Bears.

California Golden Bears (3-1)

2020 record: 5-6 (4-4 America East)

The Golden Bears are led by their head coach and pioneer of collegiate field hockey in Shellie Onstead.

Onstead is returning to Cal for her 27th season, as the unquestioned leader for the Golden Bears. Under Onstead’s leadership, the California Golden Bears are 267-206. She has led her group to 11 conference titles, with five NCAA tournament appearances.

The Golden Bears’ California Hall of Fame inductee has completely transformed the program and led the club to consistently unprecedented heights, with her time at the helm.

This season, Cal defeated then-No. 25 Stanford in its season opener before falling to then-No. 10 Liberty. However, the Golden Bears bounced back to win two in a row against Dartmouth and Towson.

Players to know

Anne Van Hoof, graduate backfield, No. 24 — The Wake Forest transfer comes to Cal as an aggressive backfielder who currently leads the Golden Bears in goals this season with three total goals so far. She also leads her club in shots, as she has recorded 17 shots in a mere four games this season. In Friday’s contest with Towson, she recorded two goals in the lopsided 4-1 victory.

Maddie Cleat, graduate forward, No. 17 — Cleat has been making several contributions to her team’s 3-1 early season record. She has registered one goal on the season while ranking second on her club with 10 shots. Cleat also ranks second in shots on goals with seven and currently has an impressive 70% shot on goal percentage.

Cato Knipping, junior goalkeeper, No. 36 — The Netherlands native has been protecting the net with intensity through the four games in the early 2021 season. Knipping has only surrendered three goals this season and has a save percentage of 62.5%. The goalkeeper is averaging an impressive 0.86 goals scored on her this season. During the spring 2020 season, Knipping was named America East Player of The Week, recording 19 saves and one shutout.

Strength

Shots on goal. Cal is a team that is efficient in their shots on goals, as a result of their 67.3% shots on goal percentage. The Golden Bears have two players who have already recorded double-digit shots on the season. Cal has five players who currently possess a shot on goals percentage no lower than 58.8%. As a team, the Golden Bears have taken 33 shots on goal while their opponents have taken just 10.

Weakness

Shots percentage. While Cal is efficient at shooting an exorbitant number of shots, they aren’t able to convert their shots into goals. The Golden Bears currently have a shots percentage of 12.2% on the season. For comparison, its opponents’ shot percentage is an average of 20% and Maryland is coming into this matchup with a 15.9% shots percentage. Their record isn’t indicative of their ability to convert on their shots, but it is a major area of concern for the Golden Bears.

Three things to watch

1. Can the Terrapins build on their defensive dominance? Maryland has not relinquished a goal in the last 10 quarters. The defensive pressure by midfielders Brooke DeBerdine and Taylor Mason were relentless in their previous game versus UMass, as their speed and athleticism were able to take over the game.

2. Will defender Rayne Wright continue to build on her hot start? Wright was termed as the player of the game, according to head coach Missy Meharg. Wright played over 50 minutes in Maryland’s last contest and she has been playing exceptionally well. Wright has been using her speed and tenacity to put pressure on opposing defenses while creating nifty scoring opportunities for her teammates.

3. Can Maryland finally capitalize on its penalty corners? The Terps have struggled to convert on their penalty corners, as they haven’t scored a penalty corner in two consecutive games. Maryland’s offense is high-powered, so it is baffling to see the struggles that they are experiencing. The Terps will have to continue to work to break their penalty corner slump in order to unleash the full potential of their offensive arsenal.