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No. 3 Maryland field hockey vs No. 6 Princeton preview

Another top 10 team visits the Terps in College Park.

Maryland field hockey 2019 Sarah Sopher / Testudo Times

After picking up its first win in Big Ten play against Penn State, Maryland field hockey is set to face another tough task. The No. 6 Princeton Tigers (3-3) will come to College Park to take on the No. 3-ranked Terrapins (7-1).

Princeton is a familiar foe for Maryland, both historically and recently. The two teams met twice last season and both games had dramatic finishes. The Terps’ trailed the Tigers late in the game but managed to tie it with 15 seconds to go, before taking a win in double overtime.

The rivals met again in the NCAA Semifinals, where overtime was once again needed. The Terps came out on top, 1-0, to advance to the title game.

The coaching staff is also familiar. Both Princeton head coach Carla Tagliente and assistant coach Dina Rizzo played and coached under Maryland head coach Missy Meharg.

No. 6 Princeton — Tuesday, 6 p.m.

Coming into this midweek matchup, Princeton sits at 3-3, picking up wins against current No. 18 Wake Forest, No. 20 Albany and No. 24 Penn State. The Tigers have had a very tough schedule in the early parts of the year, dropping games against current No. 1 North Carolina, No. 21 Rutgers and No. 4 UConn.

The Tigers have been in countless extremely close games this year, outscoring opponents 13-11. Princeton hasn’t had a ton of shots on goal compared to the Terps, as the Tigers have only recorded 46, while Maryland has tallied 94.

One area that has been impressive for Princeton has been its defense. The Tigers discipline has stood out, only conceding 27 penalty corners on the season, compared to Maryland’s 30. The two teams’ defense is comparable, as both allow on average around nine shots per game, but Maryland has only allowed an impressive 0.75 goals per game, while Princeton allows 2.17.

Players to know

Hannah Davey, sophomore midfielder, No. 7. The sophomore from England led the Tigers in assists last year, with 10. But this year, she leads the team in goals. Davey has a team-high 11 points with five goals and one assist. Davey’s best performance of the year came against Albany, where she recorded a hat-trick.

Clara Roth, junior forward, No. 20. Roth was Princeton’s leading point scorer last season with 34 (13 goals, 8 assists). This season, the German native ranks second on the team in points with nine, including two goals and a team-high five assists. Roth also scored two goals in a 5-4 loss against Maryland in the regular season last year.

Grace Baylis, senior goalkeeper, No. 1. The veteran has started in 47 games throughout her four years with the Tigers. Last season, Baylis was 15-5 allowing just 1.21 goals per game. This season, the senior has allowed on average 3.08 goals per game. It will be interesting to see how Baylis will handle the Terps high powered offense.

Three things to watch

  1. Will the Terps remain perfect at home? Maryland has been a force when playing on its home turf. Last season, the Terps went a perfect 9-0 at the Maryland Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex, and this season it’s more of the same. So far Maryland is 5-0 at home and has outscored opponents 20-3.
  2. Does Princeton get revenge? Not only did Maryland beat Princeton in a double overtime game in the regular season, but it bounced the Tigers out of the NCAA tournament. Both of those losses will be in the back of the Tigers’ minds and it should be used as a bit of an extra incentive.
  3. Will this be a momentum boost or bust? The Terps come into this midweek game riding a four-game winning streak and they will look to continue the streak against Princeton. This is a big game for Maryland as after they face the Tigers, the team will face four straight ranked opponents.