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No. 2 Maryland field hockey vs American preview

The Terps attempt to complete their season with a win in D.C.

Maryland field hockey 2019 Sarah Sopher / Testudo Times

After clinching at least a share of the Big Ten with a dominant 5-1 victory over Michigan State, No. 2 Maryland field hockey will travel to D.C. to take on American in its regular season finale.

While the Terps did capture the number one seed for the Big Ten Tournament and will have the opportunity to end the season with a victory, head coach Missy Meharg still wants to see some improvements.

“We have to double transfer the play,” Meharg said. “I think we can come up on the ball in an area of congestion and have a tendency to go right back at it. So we’re gonna look at coming up with the ball and getting it out and out again and go into bigger space.”

American — Tuesday, 3 p.m.

The Eagles currently own a 10-4 record and are riding a seven-game winning streak. American is also 5-0 in the Patriot League, but this matchup will be just the second time it will face a ranked opponent. The Eagles played then-No. 16 Delaware on Sept. 6 and were shut out in a 4-0 loss.

American is a much improved team from last season, when the Eagles finished 9-9. One area that has improved for American has been its defense. Last season, the Eagles allowed 30 goals, but this year they have surrendered just 19.

During the Eagles’ seven-game winning streak, they’ve outscored their opponents 25-7. For the whole season, American has outscored its opponents 40-19. The Eagles’ offense has been impressive this season, as it averages 2.86 goals per game, which ranks among the top-20 in the nation.

The Terps and the Eagles haven’t met since 2016. Hosting American in the matchup, Maryland came out on top in a 6-2 rout. Now in the Terps’ regular season finale, both teams sit at the top of their respective conferences.

Players to know

Noor Coenen, junior midfielder, No. 20 — The junior from The Netherlands is the biggest piece of the American offense. Coenen is the points leader with 34 (14 goals, 6 assists), while the player with second-most has just 13. Coenen scored four goals in her last game and has scored at least once in the last five.

Hannah Moser, sophomore forward, No. 6 — Moser is the only other player with double-digit points on the Eagles. The sophomore has 13 points on six goals and one assist. Moser has been hot in her past couple games, scoring a goal in each of the last three games for American.

Fiona Minter, freshman goalkeeper, No. 81 — As a freshman, Minter has played well in the cage for the Eagles. While the defense in front of her has been great, Minter has recorded a .609 save percentage and allowed just 1.36 goals per game. In her last 10 games in goal, she hasn’t allowed more than two goals.

Three things to watch

  1. Maryland has owned American in the past. The Terps are 17-1 all-time against the Eagles and have dominated them recently. Maryland’s lone loss came in 2004, but since then, the Terps have won 16 straight matchups. In the last 10 matchups, the Terrapins have won by at least two goals, outscoring the Eagles 25-7.
  2. Can the Terps contain Noor Coenen? Coenen accounts for such a large portion of the American offense that the Terps will have to shut her down. The junior not only leads the Eagles in points, but she also takes the most shots by far. Coenen has recorded 73 shots and 44 on goal. The next highest amount of shots on goal on the team is just 15.
  3. Will Maryland cap off the season with a victory? With a win on Tuesday, the Terps will finish 16-2 in the regular season for the second straight year. Since Maryland has already clinched the top seed for the Big Ten tournament, it has some freedom in this regular season finale. However, a win to close out the season would be big for momentum heading into the postseason.