After starting off the season with two dominant victories over Richmond and New Hampshire, No. 2 Maryland field hockey (2-0) will face much fiercer competition this weekend when it takes on No. 3 Duke and No. 13 Boston College in the B1G/ACC Cup.
While the Terps opened up the season with two statement victories, they were against unranked teams. Nonetheless, Maryland did what it should’ve, outperforming its opponents in practically every category. But this weekend, they face off against two completely different teams, which should provide intense matchups.
“I’m just so happy that [Boston College and Duke] are as good as they are,” head coach Missy Meharg said. “And that’s what we need. They’re only going to make us better and we want to win.”
And this weekend, Meharg also wants to see some minor changes that she believes that the team needs to work on.
“I’d like to see us play simpler hockey at times,” Meharg said. “I think we play such high risk and high forward, that we have unforced errors... we’ve got some stuff to work on, but you know, really it’s just a matter of them. Every hour they get together, they’re just going to gel more and more.”
No. 13 Boston College — Friday, 2 p.m.
Last year, Boston College finished the season 10-9 and missed out on the NCAA Tournament. This season, the Terriers are ranked No. 13 in the nation, sitting at 1-1 with a win over Providence and a surprising overtime defeat to Fairfield University.
The last time these two teams met was in the 2018 edition of the tournament, when the Terps came out on top, 3-2. In that game, midfielder Madison Maguire totaled two goals and Noelle Frost was in the cage, saving six shots.
This year, it’s a new look team for the Eagles with their top three scorers from 2018 gone. Through the first two games of 2019, Boston College has had 24 shots on goal, compared to its opponents’ 11. The Eagles have also been very successful drawing penalty corners, with a total of 23 so far.
Boston College has had two different goalies play in each of those games. Sophomore Jonna Kennedy played the entirety of the game in the win over Providence, while senior Sarah Dwyer was in the cage for the loss against Fairfield. The be something to keep an eye on in their matchup against the Terps.
Players to know
Fusine Govaert, junior midfielder/forward, No. 15. The Eagles have had a solid amount of shots on goal, but haven’t accounted for many goals. Boston College has only totaled four goals on the season and half of them have come from Govaert’s stick. The junior was tied for third most goals on the team last season with five, and this year looks like she will be one of their top scoring threats again. In addition to goals, Govaert leads the team in points (5) and has the most shots on goal with 10.
Margo Carlin, freshman forward, No. 24. The freshman has been a spark for the Eagles’ offense, adding the other half of the team’s total goals with two. Carlin has started just one game so far, but she’s made the most of her playing time, totaling four points and racking up four shots on goal.
No. 3 Duke — Sunday, 12 p.m.
In 2018, Duke finished 16-6 and was bounced out of the NCAA Tournament in the second round. The Blue Devils lost their two top point leaders going into 2019, but it hasn’t seemed to have affected them so far. The team has pulled off two impressive wins so far, winning 4-1 against No. 9 Penn State and 4-0 over No. 25 William & Mary.
In last season’s matchup between Maryland and Duke, the Terps came out on top in an exciting 4-3 win in the B1G/ACC Cup. In that game Maryland had two goals come from current players, Bibi Donraadt and Bodil Keus.
In Duke’s first two wins, it’s been dominant. The Blue Devils have only surrendered five shots on goal and on the other side of the field they have attempted 20, scoring on eight of them. Similarly to the Maryland, Duke has had a wide variety of contributors on the offensive end, as seven players have recorded at least one point through the two games.
Players to know
Jillian Wolgemuth, senior back, No. 7. The senior was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Week after starting the season as a crucial piece of the Blue Devils’ defense. While there are no stats that prove her dominance, her presence on the backline will be a part of the Duke’s success all year long.
Sammi Steele, redshirt senior goalkeeper, No. 73. Steele is a veteran in the cage and should be a very tough task for the Terps to deal with. Steele took over the goalie position for Duke the first time she saw the field in 2015. In her career so far at Duke, Steele possesses a 50-14 record and only allows an average of 1.81 goals per game. The redshirt senior also has 19 career shutouts, including the one that came against No. 25 William & Mary this season.
Leah Crouse, sophomore forward, No. 4. In the first two games of the season, Crouse has scored a goal in each. In addition, to the sophomore’s two scores, Crouse also added an assist, totaling up to a team-high five points.
Three things to watch
1. How will the Terps fare against their first real challenges? The Terps have been completely dominant so far this season, but it was expected as they were up against two unranked opponents. This weekend, Maryland will have to be prepared to face much better offenses and defenses. One thing that should be much different this weekend is the amount of shots the Terps face. Last weekend, Maryland only faced 16 shots (6 on goal), but this number should definitely increase against better competition.
“It’s obviously good, like overview of how the rest of the season is maybe gonna go,” junior defender Hannah Bond said on the competition. “If it doesn’t go how we wanted, it shows us what we need to build on and improve on.”
2. Will Maryland rely on one goalie? In the opening weekend, senior goalie Noelle Frost saw most of the time in the cage, accounting for about 99 of the 120 total minutes in game time. In her time on the field, Frost faced 13 shots, saved three shots and allowed one goal. For the other 21 minutes, sophomore Skye Joegriner found herself in goal. Joegriner only faced three shots, but did record a save or allow a goal.
3. Will the Terps’ high powered offense be slowed down? With just two games played, Maryland already has eight different players with at least one point recorded. Not only are there multiple players that have been involved, but the production has come from all positions as well.
Defender, Bodil Keus is tied for the most goals on the team with two, while forward Bibi Donraadt leads the team in points (2 goals, 3 assists) because of her incredible work off of penalty corners. Maryland’s deep, well-rounded squad should result in very competitive contests against Boston College and Duke this weekend in the B1G/ACC Cup.