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No. 3 Maryland field hockey vs. No. 12 Harvard preview

The Terps look to remain unbeaten on the season.

Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics.

No. 3 Maryland field hockey will host No. 12 Harvard in the 26th annual Terrapin Invitational at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex on Friday at 5 p.m. on BTN Plus.

The Terps (4-0) return home for a ranked matchup after sweeping Boston College and Duke in the Big Ten/ACC Cup. Maryland’s 10-3 scoring margin in those two games was pivotal en route to its best start since 2018. With one win already secured in the interconference tournament, Maryland exploded with seven goals in its overwhelming 7-2 victory over Duke. Head coach Missy Meharg’s club has played outstanding defense, holding opponents to four total goals.

Harvard (1-1) comes to College Park following a 2-0 home loss to No. 15 Connecticut. The Crimson attempted eight shots in the fourth quarter but were unable to convert them into points. In their season opener, freshman defender Bronte-May Brough’s overtime goal was enough to earn a 1-0 victory over Miami (Ohio).

The invitational will be held Sept. 9-11 with American, Harvard and New Hampshire.

Maryland is an unblemished 3-0 versus Harvard all-time, winning its last matchup, 3-1, on Sept. 9, 2018. That previous meeting was a part of a 13-0 start to a season that ended in the Final Four.

Now let’s look at the Harvard Crimson.

Harvard Crimson (1-1)

2021 record: 17-2 (7-0 Ivy League)

Head coach Tjerk Van Herwaarden returns for his 11th season leading the Crimson. Van Herwaarden has guided Harvard to a 102-55 (44-19) record in his career with the Ivy League program. He also has won three Ivy League championships and made an appearance in the Final Four last season.

The Crimson set program records in 2018 with 14 consecutive victories and a No. 6 national ranking. Nine members of that team received All-Ivy League honors.

Last season, Van Herwaarden led Harvard to a record-setting 17-2 season that included a perfect 7-0 record in conference play. The Crimson ended their season by capturing the program’s sixth Ivy League title. The unblemished conference slate marks the second time Van Herwaarden has finished with a perfect conference record for Harvard.

The three-time Ivy League Coach of the Year won five championships during his tenure on the Maryland coaching staff from 2005-12. He served as an assistant coach in 2005 and was named the team’s technical director/coach in 2007.

Under his leadership, Harvard has been an annual contender for championships in November.

Players to know

Mazarine Broze, junior defender, No. 5 — Broze is an ultra-quick defender with the ability to generate offense for the Crimson. Last season, she recorded a career-best 16 points to go along with three goals. She has logged over 100 minutes through two games this season. The Belgium native has gotten off to a slow start through two games but has the potential to break through at any moment.

Bronte-May Brough, freshman defender, No. 8 — Brough scored the lone goal in overtime of Harvard’s 1-0 victory over Miami (Ohio) on Sept. 2. The former England U21 Junior World Cup member brings a wealth of experience to a perennial threat in the Ivy League. She leads the Crimson in shots with nine, while being tied for shots on goals with two. Brough has been Harvard’s primary source of offense and will look to continue identifying scoring opportunities.

Ellie Shahbo, senior goalkeeper, No. 1 — The Second Team NFHCA All-American was seventh in the Ivy League with 52 saves last season. Through two games, Shahbo has recorded six saves and a 75% save percentage. She also recorded a 15-2 record last season while pitching 10 shutouts, leading the nation with a 0.44 goals-against average and an .860 save percentage. With Shahbo guarding the net, Harvard is able to shun opposing players from scoring opportunities.


Defense. Harvard’s defense plays cohesively, as it swarms around the field hoping to stifle opponents’ offenses. With Shahbo and company, the Crimson have shown the potential to suffocate passing lanes and force a myriad of turnovers. The Ivy League squad has athletes on every level hoping to force turnovers to jumpstart their offense.


Scoring. The Crimson averaged 0.50 goals per game and were recently shutout in their 2-0 loss to Connecticut. Many people around the sport believe that there is a growing number of programs that can score at an elite level and fixing their scoring woes is an area of concern for Harvard. It is essential to identify ways to convert shots into goals.

Three things to watch

1. Can Maryland start the Terrapin Invitational with a hot start? On Sept. 9, the Terps will host Harvard in the first of two games at the Terrapin Invitational. Maryland swept the tournament last season with victories over Massachusetts and California. The Terps will look to finish their first five games with an undefeated record.

2. Will Hope Rose’s prolific sophomore campaign continue? Rose was a highly sought-after prospect in the class of 2021, and she quickly showed why she’s going to be a factor in the Big Ten for years to come. The sophomore forward has already registered four goals and figures to be amongst the best players in the conference. She recorded two goals in each of Maryland’s victories in the Big Ten/ACC Cup and will look to build on that winning performance. Rose is an aggressive player always seeking to pressure the opponent’s cage.

3. Will the Terps’ defense continue to dominate? Maryland is a perfect 4-0, and it owes its record to an element they are not traditionally known for. The Terps’ offense has typically been their driving force in years past, but this year they’ve been relying heavily on their defense to close out games. Maryland’s defense is led by junior defender Rayne Wright and graduate goalkeeper Christina Calandra, who are constantly communicating and stifling opponents from firing shots at the cage. Maryland’s offense exploded to the tune of seven goals in its recent victory over Duke, but its outstanding defense negated the game from ever being in trouble.