No. 2 Maryland field hockey concludes its 2022 home schedule with a ranked matchup against No. 7 Virginia at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex in College Park on Wednesday at 5 p.m. The game can be streamed on Big Ten Plus.
The Terps (14-2) are coming off a 5-1 loss to No. 5 Penn State at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex in University Park, Pennsylvania on Oct. 21. Maryland’s defeat marked its first loss in Big Ten play this season. The Terps’ highly-touted offense struggled to generate much offense after the first quarter while the defense struggled, relinquishing four goals in the second quarter to ultimately put the game out of reach.
Virginia (11-5) recently pitched its fifth shutout of the season with a 3-0 victory over Kent State on Oct. 23. The Cavaliers used a dominant first half to build a commanding lead, as their defense limited their opponent to three shots and two penalty corners.
Maryland has a 21-3 series record over Virginia along with a 3-1 advantage in postseason play. Last season, the Terps defeated the Cavaliers, 2-1, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Now let’s look at the Virginia Cavaliers.
No. 7 Virginia Cavaliers (11-5, 3-3 ACC)
2021 record: 12-9, 3-3
The Virginia Cavaliers are led by head coach Michele Madison, who’s in her 17th season guiding the field hockey program. She has amassed a 159-81 record during her tenure in Charlottesville.
Under Madison’s leadership, Virginia has 13 NCAA Tournament appearances along with three trips to the Final Four. In 2016, Madison and the Cavaliers won their first ACC title in program history. Her teams are well-coached and stout on both ends of the field.
The former ACC Field Hockey Coach of the Year has coached three four-time All-Americans, with former midfielder Tara Vittese becoming the first player in program history to receive first team honors all four years of her career.
Madison has shown the ability to lead a program to national prominence and will look to remain a contender for the national title this season.
Players to know
Laura Janssen, senior striker, No. 15 — Janssen is fifth in the ACC with 10 goals scored this season. In Virginia’s 3-0 victory over Kent State on Oct. 23, she scored the final goal to ultimately secure the team’s 11th victory of the season. Her 46 shots and 29 shots on goals lead a Virginia club that is amongst the best teams in the country. The five-foot-six striker scored a goal in the 65th minute to lift Virginia to a 3-2 overtime victory over James Madison. She is an aggressive athlete looking to cause havoc for opposing goalkeepers. Janssen holds the key to Virginia’s offense and her performance in the contest will be something to watch on Wednesday.
Daniela Mendez-Trendler, freshman midfielder, No. 19 — The Reisterstown, Maryland native’s eight goals this season are seventh in the ACC and second on her team. She recorded the opening goal in Virginia’s 3-2 narrow defeat of Duke on Oct. 7. The former NFHCA First Team All-American has added three assists to an impressive first season for the Cavaliers. Mendez-Trendler scored the game-winning goal in Virginia’s 2-1 victory over Miami (Ohio) on Oct. 9. The freshman’s 68% shot on goal percentage leads the team and has given a glimpse of Mendez-Trendler’s capabilities on the offensive end.
Tyler Kennedy, sophomore goalkeeper, No. 24 — Kennedy is tasked with protecting Virginia’s cage and the sophomore has done that at a high level this season. She ranks eighth in the ACC, only relinquishing 1.9 goals per contest, while only allowing 11 goals. Kennedy has also recorded 26 saves in 344 minutes in seven appearances this season. She, along with freshman goalkeeper Jet Trimborn, will be a key factor in the Cavaliers’ title quest this season.
Shots. Virginia comes to College Park ranking fifth in the ACC with 14.2 shots per game. The Cavaliers have eight players on their roster who have recorded at least 12 shots this season. This team features several athletes with the skill to attack the cage from multiple areas of the field. Depth and versatility is Virginia’s strong suit, which makes it a threat for ACC supremacy.
Goals. The Cavaliers are in the ultra-competitive Atlantic Coast Conference, featuring several talented offensive units. Virginia averages 2.2 goals per game, which is relatively low for a team facing elite competition on a consistent basis. Senior striker Laura Janssen is the only player on the roster with at least 10 goals, which is concerning for a team looking to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.
Three things to watch
1. How will Maryland respond after suffering their first conference loss? The Terps’ 5-1 loss to Penn State displayed offensive execution and persistence. Maryland clinched its sixth Big Ten regular season championship on Oct. 16 and set its sights on locking up the top seed in the conference tournament. Its loss gave the Nittany Lions a chance to fight for the top seed with two games remaining in the season. With a return to College Park on Oct. 26, the Terps will look to regain their momentum ahead of the upcoming Big Ten Tournament.
2. Who gets the nod at goalkeeper for the Terps? Maryland has the luxury of having two quality interchangeable goalkeepers in sophomore Paige Kieft and senior Christina Calandra. Kieft started 11 games this season, including the past five. She has been an anchor for the Terps, pitching two shutouts during their seven-game winning streak that came to an end Friday. Calandra has five starts with nine appearances this season. The senior goalkeeper has registered one shutout and has protected the net at a high clip for the Terps. In their 5-1 loss to Penn State, Calandra replaced Kieft late into the third quarter after five unanswered goals. It will be worth monitoring to see who trots onto the field first in the final home game at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex in College Park.
3. Can Maryland’s top ranked offense break its recent cold streak? In Maryland’s previous contest versus Penn State, the Terps’ offense struggled mightily after striking first. Maryland graduate midfielder Danielle Van Rootselaar’s goal in the fourth minute was a display of the Terps’ quick-strike ability. The Terps were unable to generate any goals the rest of the way, only recording seven shots and two penalty corners. With an offense loaded with versatility and depth, it’s alarming when they experience any struggles. Maryland is 8-1 against opponents ranked in the top 25 and will look to add a quality victory its impressive resume.