No. 4 Maryland field hockey concludes the Big Ten/ACC Cup on Sunday with a matchup against the No. 18 Duke Blue Devils at noon on ESPN+.
Maryland (3-0) is coming off a 3-1 victory over Boston College on Friday. The Terps’ defense pitched a shutout after allowing a first-quarter goal in the contest. Maryland’s offense took advantage of its opportunities and managed to put the game away in the final frame with a goal by graduate midfielder Bibi Donraadt.
Duke (2-1) lost to defending champion Northwestern on Friday, 2-0, in the first matchup of the inter-conference tournament. Prior to sustaining their first loss, the Blue Devils had outscored their opponents 3-1.
Maryland and Duke squared off last season, with the Terps securing a 4-0 victory on Sept. 5, 2021. These former ACC rivals are familiar with one another and will look to rekindle their old ways on Sunday.
The Terps have a 35-13-3 series lead over Duke and have won each of the past four meetings.
Maryland head coach Missy Meharg’s crew could move to 4-0 in the first quarter of the season as ranked matchups with some of the best teams in the country await.
Now, let’s look at the Duke Blue Devils.
Duke Blue Devils (2-1)
2021 record: 6-11 (0-6 ACC)
Duke head coach Pam Bustin returns for her 11th season leading the program in Durham, North Carolina. After being hired, Bustin quickly established Duke as a perennial contender in the ACC. She has amassed an impressive 131-74 record during her time roaming the sidelines.
In her first season on campus, she led Duke to a No. 6 national ranking and defeated Maryland in the 2011 ACC Tournament. She would go on to receive ACC Coach of the Year honors, as Duke recorded one of its best seasons under Bustin’s leadership.
Bustin led the Blue Devils to an appearance in the 2013 NCAA championship game and has earned a minimum of 13 victories in eight of 11 seasons.
Under Bustin’s leadership, Duke has produced 20 All-Americans, 44 All-South Region selections and 30 All-ACC honorees.
Players to know
Logan Clouser, sophomore midfielder, No. 11 — Clouser led Duke in goals with five during her freshman campaign. The former top-50 Max Field Hockey prospect quickly established herself as a key contributor to a Duke team with championship aspirations. The five-foot-four midfielder constantly sprints the length of the floor to put pressure on the opponent’s cage. She has yet to record a goal in her sophomore season but will keep firing shots to generate offense for the Blue Devils. In their season-opening 2-1 victory over Rutgers, Clouser recorded one shot on goal.
Hannah Miller, senior forward, No. 3 — Miller started in all of Duke’s 17 games last season, while tying for second in goals with four. She also fired 23 shots at the cage in her junior season. Miller also chipped in two assists during the 2021-22 campaign. The Pennsylvania native has played well in the first two games, recording four shots and three shots on goals. Miller’s quickness and agility puts her in favorable positions to attempt a countless number of shots at the cage.
Piper Hampsch, junior goalkeeper, No. 16 — Hampsch led the ACC in saves per game with 5.1 per clip. In her sophomore campaign, she earned two shutouts. She also recorded 81 saves last season, placing her fourth in the conference in that category. This season, she’s already registered 11 saves in victories over Rutgers and St. Joseph’s. She’s a quality goalkeeper with potential to stifle opponents at the cage.
Shots on goal. Through two games, Duke has managed to put 61.8% of its shots on goal. Bustin’s squad possesses several athletes with versatile skillsets to contribute to their offensive attack. The Blue Devils have scored only three goals so far this season, but it’s safe to say they will continue firing away to earn more than 1.5 goals per game.
Goals. The Blue Devils are not shy with firing several shots at their target, but their attempts have yet to garner a high number of goals. Duke struggled last season to score, as they were last in the ACC with 1.65 goals per contest. Their scoring woes plagued their chances of being a contender last season and it is an area of concern for a talented roster.
Three things to watch
1. Can Maryland jump out to a 4-0 start? With a victory over Duke, Maryland would improve its record to 4-0 for the first time since 2018. In the aforementioned season, the Terps made an appearance in the national championship game before falling to North Carolina, 2-0. Maryland’s schedule features several contenders in the Big Ten and collecting early-season wins bodes well for their chances of competing for a conference title.
2. Is Maryland’s defense becoming more reliable than its signature offense? The Terps’ defense has been outstanding, smothering opponents and limiting opponents’ ability to generate numerous goals. Through three games, Maryland has only allowed two goals. Graduate goalkeeper Christina Calandra allowed her first goal on Friday, but has been instrumental in negating any goals from entering the cage. Maryland exploded offensively in the opener to the tune of seven goals, but it has managed to score just four goals in the past eight quarters. The Terps’ offense has been doing just enough while their defense has been thwarting opponents’ chances of securing a victory.
3. Will the Terps secure their second road victory of the season before a matchup with No. 7 Harvard on Friday? Maryland went 0-3 on neutral grounds last season, while recording a 6-1 record away from College Park. The Terps can sweep their slate of ACC teams with a victory and will look to carry that momentum the rest of the way. The Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex in College Park will host No. 7 Harvard on Friday in a top-10 matchup of premier teams. Securing early-season victories on the road could add confidence to a team with championship aspirations.