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No. 4 Maryland field hockey vs Towson preview

Coming off their first loss of the season, the Terps look to get back in the win column.

Greg Fiume | Maryland Athletics

After going 1-1 in the B1G/ACC Cup (then ranked No. 2) — picking up a win against No. 13 Boston College and falling to No. 3 Duke — No. 4 Maryland field hockey (3-1) heads to Towson (0-3) for a midweek matchup.

While splitting the weekend games, the Terps had the opportunity to face top competition and learn what aspects of the game they need to focus on improving. Maryland could showcase these new improvements this week, but it won’t be against the same tier of competition.

Towson — Wednesday, 4 p.m.

The Towson Tigers finished the 2018 season 1-17, capping off the year on a 13-game losing streak. Towson hasn’t been a good field hockey school historically, as they haven’t recorded more than two wins since 2011. This season, the Tigers haven’t had much luck turning things around as they are off to an 0-3 start.

The last time these two teams met in 2017, the Terrapins wreaked havoc, coming out on top in an 8-0 win. In that game, Maryland tallied a mind-boggling 42 shots on goal and didn’t concede a single one.

Going into the 2019 season, the Tigers lost their only double-digit point scorer from last year to graduation, and as a result Towson has had a hard time scoring goals. Towson has been shut out once this season and has totaled just four goals through its first three games. The Tigers have also had 15 shots on goal this season, which is just one less than the Terps’ total amount allowed.

In its first three games of the year, Towson has been outscored 11-4, allowing 3.67 goals per game. The Tigers have started the same goalie in all three games, freshman Tess Okkerse, who has made 18 saves but allowed eight goals. Okkerse will definitely have her work cut out for her in what should be a Maryland scoring outburst.

Players to know

Georgia Beachley, freshman forward/midfielder, No. 20. Beachley may be a freshman, but she has been one of the most important parts of the Towson offense. The Maryland native leads the team in points with five (two goals, one assist). Beachley has also been strategic with her shots, as all four of them have been on goal.

Samantha Aljets, freshman forward, No. 9. Aljets was high school teammates with Beachley and now both are making huge impacts for Towson in their freshmen seasons. The freshman forward has played every minute for the Tigers thus far, totaling four points on one goal and two assists.

Three things to watch

  1. Meharg should be able to empty the bench. In their 2017 matchup, the Terps used 14 substitutes. This year should be no different. Maryland has a lot of young depth and should pull out a commanding victory with a lot of scoring, that will allow those players to get in the game.
  2. Will Towson end their losing drought? Probably not. The Towson Tigers haven’t won a game since Sept. 9, 2018 and the Terps should extend this streak. The history between Towson and Maryland has also not been fun for the Tigers. Dating back to 2004, the teams have faced off six times and the Terps have outscored the Tigers 45-1.
  3. Will the Terps record new game highs? If history repeats itself, Maryland’s offense should have a field day against Towson. Currently, the Terps scored their most goals this season against New Hampshire with five and also attempted their most shots on goal in the same game with 18.