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Maryland field hockey vs. Iowa Big Ten championship preview

The Terrapins can sweep conference titles with a win.

field hockey Gabe Fernandez / Testudo Times

After winning the 2018 Big Ten regular season championship, the No. 2 Maryland field hockey team finds itself in position to add the conference tournament title to its trophy collection.

On Friday, the Terrapins absolutely destroyed No. 19 Ohio State, 9-1, and continued their postseason offensive excellence. While 22 shots, 15 shots on target and 10 penalty corners will be hard to improve upon, keeping the momentum up is key.

Last time out against Iowa, the Terrapins were in a similar situation. They had picked apart Indiana for a 4-0 win on the road Friday, and traveled to Iowa City on Sunday, but came out sluggish. Maryland will hope the offense, which is more alive than ever, and Big Ten tournament pressure can keep the energy level up in this one.

The Terrapins and Hawkeyes will square off at 2 p.m. ET Sunday on the Big Ten Network.

No. 8 Iowa (14-5, 4-4 Big Ten)

Head coach Lisa Cellucci is in her fifth season as head coach of the Hawkeyes and her 19th season as a part of the program’s staff. In those 19 years, Iowa has compiled a record of 208-142 overall and has consistently been a ranked team.

Players to know

Forward Maddy Murphy, No. 26: The sophomore from Tasmania leads the Hawkeyes in goals (13) and points (33) this season. She has also scored four game-winning goals and has a shot-on-goal percentage of .652. Keeping her off the scoreboard will be key for Maryland’s defense.

Midfielder/defender Katie Birch, No. 11: In her junior season, the York, England, native has complemented Murphy well. Birch is tied for second on the team with seven goals, but has added 10 assists for a point total of 24 this season. She has also taken the most shots on the team (54) and has added three game-winning goals.


Defense: The Hawkeyes have been a very stout defensive team throughout the season. As a team, they average under one goal allowed per game (0.95) and just 6.4 shots to opponents. Maryland will have to really push through in order to continue its offensive momentum against an Iowa team that hasn’t given up more than two goals to any opponent this year.

Previous matchup

Maryland 2, Iowa 1

Maryland may have won when they took their trip to Iowa City, but it certainly didn’t feel like it. The Terrapins opened the scoring just before the first half ended, then Iowa scored 11 minutes into the second and Maryland answered right back a few minutes later. Iowa outshot Maryland 9-5 in this one, and without Sarah Holliday’s five saves, it could have been a much uglier match.