After recently falling to undefeated Rutgers in a penalty shootout, No. 8 Maryland field hockey (7-3) searches for its first Big Ten win of the season when it hosts No. 16 Penn State on Sunday.
This will be the Terps’ first home game in more than two weeks, just days after they had a 10-day break between road games at then-No. 6 Virginia and No. 6 Rutgers.
The game will kick off at 1 p.m. and be available to stream on Big Ten Plus.
No. 16 Penn State Nittany Lions (5-4, 0-1 Big Ten)
2022 record: 17-4, 7-1 Big Ten
After five straight home games, Penn State is back on the road. Like the Terps, Penn State saw its title run come to a halt last season in the Final Four.
Penn State is led by first-year head coach Lisa Bervinchak Love, who has been a part of the Nittany Lions’ coaching staff since 1993. Bervinchak Love was Penn State’s associate head coach under Charlene Morrett-Curtiss, who retired after 36 years and seven Big Ten Coach of the Year awards.
The Nittany Lions, who have won five of their last six matchups against the Terps, handed Maryland its only conference loss last year in a 5-1 blowout.
Players to know
Sophia Gladieux, senior forward, No. 3 — The Big Ten’s top performer from a year ago has continued to impress under Bervinchak Love. After winning Big Ten Player of the Year last year with 23 goals and 49 points, Gladieux’s 11 goals and 23 points this season each rank third in the conference.
Mackenzie Allessie, senior midfielder, No. 2 — Over the last two seasons, Allessie has been right behind Gladieux in supplementing the Nittany Lions’ attack. The four-time All-Big Ten first-team selection and former Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year has five goals and 12 points this season.
Brie Barraco, graduate goalkeeper, No. 12 — Despite the team’s record, Barraco has kept Penn State close in all nine games this season. The Nittany Lions have yet to lose a game this year by more than one score, and Barraco leads the conference with 47 saves.
Experience. Penn State’s roster includes decorated players on all ends of the field. Gladieux, Allessie and Barraco combine for eight All-Big Ten first-team selections, and 10 players are either seniors or graduate students.
Recent ranked losses. Penn State played ranked opponents in two of its last three games, and dropped both matches. It scored one total goal against No. 10 Syracuse and No. 6 Rutgers. Now, Maryland is in a position to get a much-needed win against a team struggling against top competition.
Three things to watch
1. Is Maryland rested enough? Maryland had a 10-day break before its shootout loss to Rutgers. Now, just three days later, are the Terps fresh enough to play their best hockey against the No. 16 team in the country?
2. Can the Terps manage more corners? Over its recent two-game road trip, Maryland struggled to draw corners. Maryland managed just two corners in each contest against Rutgers and Virginia.
3. New-look home field. On Sunday, the Terps will debut their new TerpVision scoreboard as part of the ongoing renovations at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex.