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Maryland women’s lacrosse vs. Rutgers preview

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The Terps finish up a two-game road trip and look for their third conference victory.

NCAA Lacrosse: Women's Championship - Maryland Terrapins vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

After an upset scare on Wednesday, Maryland women’s lacrosse travels up to New Jersey to face Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights are 5-2 in their last seven games and are 1-1 in Big Ten games this year. Last year, these two teams played twice, with Maryland winning both games by a combined score of 37-12.

The first draw will come at 7:00 p.m. ET Saturday.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (7-5)

Head coach Laura Brand-Sias. In 14 seasons, Brand-Sias has led Rutgers to 120 total victories. Prior to being named the Scarlet Knights’ head coach, she spent a season at Fairfield University under the same position.

Players to Watch

Kristina Dunphey, Midfield, No. 31. Dunphey has been Rutgers’ primary scorer this year, leading the team with 22 goals, including 14 in her last five games. She’s also compiled a stat line that includes 14 ground balls, 12 draw controls and 12 caused turnovers.

Amanda Turturro, Attack, No. 11. The senior stands as Rutgers’ points leader with 32 and the only Scarlet Knight to reach double digits in assists with 16. In her last four games, Turturro has combined for five goals and five assists.

Strength

Defense. Rutgers hasn’t been dominant in any aspect of the game this year, but its defense has been solid all season. The team is only allowing 10.58 goals per game this year and and only 7.4 goals in their last five games. Two strong units will collide in this game between Maryland’s explosive offense and Rutgers improving defense.

Weakness

Free position offense. While Rutgers has had general offensive struggles this year, its free position offense has been the team’s biggest source of problems. On the season Rutgers has a .397 free position percentage, which only ranks 68 in the country. This should only aid an already strong Maryland on Saturday.

Three Things to Watch

  1. Which Maryland players bounce back? The Terps are coming off their toughest game of the year against Virginia and have to come back strong on the road. Depending on which players have the strongest games, we may get a better understanding of who Maryland will lean on in tough situations later in the season.
  2. Will Lizzie Colson continue to get increased playing time? The freshman didn’t get on the score sheet on Wednesday but did get significant playing time in a close game. Was that a matchup-based decision by Cathy Reese, or will we see more of Colson as the season progresses?
  3. Does Meghan Doherty play? She missed Wednesday’s game with an injury, allowing Marissa Donaghue to get her first start of the season. Doherty may not be the best defender on the team, but on a unit as dominant as Maryland’s defense, continuity is extremely important. An extended absence would offer another obstacle for the Terps to overcome.