Coming off its third straight overtime game, and second overtime win in three games, Maryland heads to Fairfax, Virginia, to take on George Mason on Sunday. The Patriots have had a rough start to the season, being outscored 8-1 through four games in 2017. As a result, George Mason is currently on a 309-minute scoreless streak.
The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET Sunday night, and a live stream of the game can be seen here.
George Mason Patriots (0-4)
2016 record: 13-7-1, 6-3-1 Atlantic 10
Head coach Todd Bramble. While only in his third season at George Mason, Bramble is an experienced coach. This is his fourth NCAA D-1 head coaching job, after having a chance to lead Butler, Clemson and Alabama in the last 18 years. Bramble has a career record of 146-125-32 since taking his first head job at Butler in 2000.
Players to Watch
Erin Mitchell, senior, forward, No. 28. Mitchell had a breakout season in 2016, setting career highs in goals with eight and points with 19, both of which were also first on the team. So far this season, Mitchell is off to a slow start, yet to register a point and only connecting on three shots on goal through four games.
Nia Elbeck, junior, forward, No. 24. While Elbeck has only scored five goals in her collegiate career, she is still one of George Mason’s most important players. In three years, Elbeck has started 33 of the 39 games she’s played, including every game since the beginning of 2016. Last season, George Mason went 7-0-0 when Elbeck earned a point.
The ability to earn corner kicks. The Patriots have struggled mightily this year, so there isn’t much for them to hang their hat on yet. However, they have earned 19 corner kicks in four games, and even though they haven’t scored on any, it’s still a solid amount.
Offense. George Mason has one of the worst offenses in the NCAA, only scoring one goal through four games. The 0.25 goal-per-game average ranks tied for 310th in the country, and only three teams are worse at scoring. Daniela Neves scored the Patriots’ lone goal this year.
Three things to watch
- Does Mikayla Dayes play? The freshman went down in the second half vs. Richmond with a non-contact injury and didn’t return to the game. However, after the game Ray Leone said that Dayes’ injury was “just a bruise,” implying the wasn’t as bad as it looked. It would be a huge break for Maryland if Dayes, the Terps’ leading scorer, can avoid missing significant time.
- Does the George Mason offense challenge the Maryland defense? So far this year, Leone has been very pleased with his team’s defensive production, commending its group effort regardless of position. By going up against a struggling offense, Maryland has a legitimate chance to earn its third shutout of the season a year after not registering any.
- Does fatigue set in? Maryland has played three straight overtime games, each going into the second overtime period. Not only does that mean the Terps have been on the field a lot this year, but they’ve played in three close, physical games over the last 10 days. Since those kinds of games can tire a team, it should be a good test of Maryland’s depth.