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No. 7 Maryland field hockey vs. No. 18 Princeton preview

The Terps look to advance to 5-2 on the season.

Courtesy of Maryland Athletics
UMTerps

The No. 7 Maryland Terrapins look to earn a home victory in a Tuesday afternoon matchup against the No. 18 Princeton Tigers at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex in College Park.

Maryland (4-2) is coming off a heartbreaking overtime defeat to the No. 8 Penn State Nittany Lions, by a score of 3-2. The Terrapins lost their first conference game of the 2021 season to Penn State but showed exceptional fight with a game-tying goal in the fourth quarter by midfielder Nathalie Fiechter.

Princeton (2-3) is coming off of a dominating home victory versus Boston University with a lopsided 7-0 score.

Head coach Missy Meharg’s club will look to shrug off their recent loss, earn their fourth home victory of the season by defeating a Princeton team that faced four consecutive ranked opponents to begin their 2021 campaign.

The game will begin at 4 p.m. and can be streamed on BTN Plus.

Now let’s look at the Princeton Tigers.

Princeton Tigers (2-3)

2020 record: Season suspended due to COVID-19 pandemic

The Princeton Tigers are led by their head coach Carla Tagliente, who’s returning for her fifth season at the helm of the Tigers’ program.

The Ivy League canceled fall sports for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the Tigers haven’t conducted a season since 2019. In 2019, Tagliente led Princeton to a season filled with great success. The Tigers went 16-5 overall while recording an undefeated 7-0 record in Ivy League play. The 2019 season also saw Tagliente’s club record a 13-game winning streak, which would go on to be the second-largest streak in program history.

Princeton would win the Ivy League Title and make an appearance in the National Championship for the fourth time ever. Tagliente achieved instant success since she arrived at Princeton, as she led the Tigers to an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament and a berth in the Final Four.

Maryland leads the all-time series versus Princeton with a 16-3 advantage in the regular season. The Terrapins also lead the postseason series with a 4-2 margin over the Tigers.

Players to know

Beth Yeager, freshman midfielder, No. 17 — This freshman sensation has immediately made her presence felt since arriving on campus, as she recorded six goals in the Tigers' five games. Yeager has registered an impressive 27 shots in her brief freshman campaign. The talented freshman has converted 18 shots on goals and provided the scoring spark in Princeton’s five games this season.

Sammy Popper, junior midfielder, No. 16 — Popper returns to the Tigers for her junior season, after she was named Ivy Rookie of the Year in 2019. In 2019, Popper was one of four members on her team who registered at least 10 goals on the season. Popper has started all five games this season and tied for second in goals, recording two goals in five games this season. Popper has recorded 15 shots and eight shots on goal this season for the Tigers.

Lily Webb, freshman forward, No. 4 — Webb comes to the Tigers as a two-time member of England’s national team. She recently appeared on the U-18 club for the 2020-2021 season. Webb has started two games this season and tied for second on her team in goals on the season, registering a respectable two goals in five games. The athletic freshman has shown great potential to impact the Tigers this season.

Strength

Shots. Princeton has been outstanding with generating shots this season and pressuring their opponents' goalies with multiple attempts to invade the net. The Tigers have outscored their opponents in shots this season, with an 80-45 margin. Princeton has been aggressive in scoring positions this season, as they are averaging 16 shots per game.

Weakness

Saves. Princeton’s defense has shown the propensity to be susceptible to relinquishing goals from their opponents. The Tigers are currently trailing their opponents in saves with a 34-14 margin, favoring their opponents.

Three things to watch

1. How will Maryland respond after an emotional loss to Penn State? Maryland lost a nail-biter game at home on Sept. 18 to Penn State in overtime 3-2 that showcased the Terps courage, to get a game-tying goal in the fourth quarter. The Terrapins played against one of the top teams in the country and it took additional time for Maryland to lose its first game at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex.

2. How will Terps midfielder Julianna Tornetta feel seeing some familiar faces? Tornetta came to College Park for her graduate season, after a decorated career for the Princeton Tigers. Tornetta was named an NFHCA All-American in 2018 and 2019. Her athleticism and speed have been a welcomed addition to the Terps, as she has registered three goals this season. She also leads Maryland in shots on the season, recording 16 shots in six games.

3. Can Maryland secure its fourth victory at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex? Maryland recently suffered its first loss at home on Saturday, Sept. 18 to Penn State in overtime, 3-2. The Terps have enjoyed playing at their home confines, hence why they have registered two shutouts in College Park. Maryland will look to secure their fourth victory at home to improve their record to 4-1 at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex.