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No. 4 Maryland field hockey weekend preview: Terrapin Invitational

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The Terps will face No. 6 Virginia and James Madison, while hosting a couple other teams.

Greg Fiume | Maryland Athletics

After picking up a dominant 5-0 win over Towson on Wednesday, Maryland field hockey is looking to keep the momentum rolling this weekend. Not only did the Terps pick up a commanding victory, but they also got the chance to rest a lot of starters in the game by rotating in 21 different players.

No. 4 Maryland is hosting the Terrapin Invitational, where it will compete against No. 6 Virginia and James Madison. Other teams playing in the tournament include Towson and American University.

No. 6 Virginia — Friday 5 p.m.

After a 9-10 finish last season, Virginia has come out of the gates hot in 2019. The Cavaliers are a perfect 4-0 and have already taken down two Big Ten teams — Penn State and Ohio State. Last year, Maryland suffered one of its three losses against the Cavaliers in a 3-1 defeat, and Virginia will be a tough task once again.

So far this season, the Cavaliers have outscored their opponents 11-3. On the offensive side of things, Virginia has just five different goal scorers. But the most impressive aspect of the Cavaliers’ team thus far has been the defense — the No. 6 team in the nation has only allowed 19 shots on goal.

An area of play where the Terps can potentially find an advantage will be on the penalty corners. Maryland has shown a great ability to draw these opportunities as well as limiting their opponents from doing the same. So far, the Terps have had 47 offensive penalty corners, while surrendering only 11. The Cavaliers have earned 22 and given up 24.

Players to know

Makayla Gallen, junior forward, No. 22. Gallen was a force for the Cavaliers’ offense in 2018, tying for a team-high in goals (4) and ranking second on the team in points with 10. This season, the forward has already matched her totals from last year, scoring four goals through the first four games, as well as assisting on two.

Lauren Hausheer, redshirt sophomore goalkeeper, No. 20. Hausheer appeared in eight games in 2017 and recorded 19 saves, while allowing just one goal. After missing out on the 2018 season, the keeper has returned as the starting goalie for the Cavaliers. So far, Hausheer has been great in goal, posting 16 saves and allowing 0.75 goals per game.

James Madison — Sunday 12 p.m.

After finishing 6-12 in 2018, James Madison has started out 2-2 this season. Last year, the Dukes had a lot of offensive production, including five different players with more than five goals. However, this team hasn’t quite had that type of production yet. Thus far, James Madison has scored just seven goals, with four different players getting in on the action.

These two teams haven’t met since 2006, where the Terrapins came out on top in a 4-2 victory. Over the past 10 meetings, Maryland has won all of them.

On the defensive side of things for the Dukes, they have been outscored 7-12. James Madison has also showcased two different goalkeepers, featuring junior Caitlin Nelson and redshirt sophomore Kylie LeBlanc. LeBlanc made her first-career start for the Dukes in the team’s most recent game against Georgetown, allowing two goals and recording one save. But Nelson started in goal for James Madison’s first three games of the season and gave up a total of 10 goals.

Players to know

Miranda Rigg, redshirt senior forward/midfielder, No. 6. Rigg has been with James Madison since 2015 and has totaled 41 career goals for the Dukes. After only playing in five games last season, she has made her presence felt in 2019 thus far. The redshirt senior is the Dukes’ leading point scorer with seven, scoring three goals and assisting on another.

Eveline Zwager, freshman forward, No. 9. Zwager has only played 90 minutes through the first four games, but more minutes should be coming her way. The freshman from the Netherlands has made the most of her time on the field, ranking third in points on the team with three (one goal, one assist). Despite only one ball hitting the back of the net, she ranks second on the team in shots on goal with four.

Three things to watch

  1. How will Maryland fare against another top ranked opponent? After falling to Duke last weekend, it will be interesting to see what the Terps learned from it and how it is applied against Virginia. The midweek game against Towson gave the Terps an opportunity to try some new things and should result in a confidence boost.
  2. Will the Terps defend home field? Last year Maryland was 9-0 at home, including wins over No. 12 Delaware and No. 17 Harvard in the Terrapin Invitational. This year, the Terps are 2-0 on their home turf, but it will be the first time this season that they host a ranked opponent.
  3. What will the Maryland lines look like? During their midweek game against Towson, the Terps mixed a lot of things up in terms of lines and matchups. Whether or not that continues this weekend is unknown, but head coach Missy Meharg could hope to channel that success once again. Some of the big changes in the midweek game were junior Hannah Bond getting some time at midfield and freshman Nathalie Fiechter starting and playing 33 minutes.