Despite winning three games last week, Maryland field hockey (6-1) dropped one spot to No. 5 in the latest National Field Hockey Coaches Association poll.
After hosting back-to-back weekend tournaments between the Big Ten/ACC Cup and the Terrapin Invitational, Maryland will take on Princeton this Thursday at 4 p.m.
It’s the Terps’ last home game before hitting the road to take on Virginia and Rutgers.
Thursday’s matchup will be streamed on Big Ten Plus.
Princeton Tigers (1-3, 0-0 Ivy League)
2022: 13-5 (7-0 Ivy League)
Princeton finished last season with eight straight wins before falling to Syracuse in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Earlier in the season, then-No. 7 Princeton upset then-No. 3 Maryland, 4-3, in overtime. The loss was Maryland’s first of the year after opening the season with six straight wins.
The Tigers are led by head coach Carla Tagliente, who is in her eighth year with the program. Tagliente was an integral member of the Terps’ national championship-winning team in 1999 and was the program record holder in career goals (87) and points (187) until 2010.
Tagliente and the Tigers continue to weather a tough schedule against ranked opponents to open their season. They were ranked No. 10 in the preseason, but fell to No. 15 after losing to No. 9 Louisville and No. 1 North Carolina. A later loss to then-No. 12 Rutgers dropped them out of the rankings.
Players to Know
Liz Agatucci, senior forward, No. 18 — The Tigers have relied heavily on Agatucci this season. She leads the team with two goals — both of which came in the last two games — and two assists.
Robyn Thompson, senior goalkeeper, No. 1 — Princeton has yet to lose a game by multiple goals, which is in large part due to Thompson’s play. The England native started in all but one game for Princeton last season and was an All-Ivy League honorable mention. Thompson’s .793 save percentage this year is the highest mark in the conference.
Bridget Murphy, senior forward, No. 9 — If you don’t see Agatucci firing a shot at Maryland’s goal Thursday, chances are you’ll be looking at Murphy instead. The senior ranks just behind Agatucci with four points this season.
Late-game experience. Princeton has been in a lot of late-game battles this season. The Tigers have played five overtime periods in the last three games, compiling one win and two losses. Princeton’s recent overtime experiences against ranked competition could be useful in a potential tight game against Maryland, a team it upset in overtime a year ago.
Roster turnover. Even after four games this season, Princeton’s personnel losses from last year can still be felt. In the spring, Princeton graduated defender Hannah Davey, a three-time All-Ivy League first-team selection. They’re also without forward Beth Yeager, last year’s unanimous Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year and an All-Ivy League first-team selection — the would-be junior is with Team USA preparing for Olympic qualifiers. The pair combined for three of Princeton’s four goals in last year’s win over the Terps.
Things to watch
1. What will Popper do against her old team? One of the most highlighted additions to Maryland’s roster this season was graduate transfer Sammy Popper. The forward, who scored a goal in each of Maryland’s first three games this season, transferred after three seasons at Princeton. The former two-time All-Ivy League first-team selection will be looking to contribute against her former school.
2. Can Maryland score first? The Terps have netted the first goal in six of seven games this season. The only game they didn’t strike first in was a victory over Cal.
3. Will Lawn be a consistent fixture in Maryland’s offense? Against Yale, Margot Lawn logged a career-high four points, scoring the Terps’ first goal and assisting on their final two. Lawn leads the Big Ten with five assists.