No. 7 seeded Maryland (0-9-2 B1G) will take on No. 2 seeded Ohio State (6-1-3 B1G) at noon in Columbus tomorrow in the opening round of Big Ten Regional Weekend.
The Terps are 0-6-2 against Ohio State all-time, and lost an earlier meeting this season 3-1 at Ludwig Field. A brace from freshman midfielder Peyton McNamara and Norweigan freshman Kine Flotre’s goal directly from a corner downed the Terps in the last meeting. Despite the loss earlier in the season,senior midfielder Sydney Staier scored her first career goal off a cross from freshman forward Zora Jackson.
Head coach Ray Leone is hoping the team improves defensively after the Terps’ conceded three to Ohio State earlier this season.
“We just have to match up better,” Leone said. “That’s something that’s been a theme that we’ve talked about the last couple of weeks. Penn State just ran us off the park, but we’ve put that behind us. We will focus again on just matching up to [Ohio State’s forwards].”
Despite Maryland’s poor record against the Buckeyes, Leone isn’t worried about his team’s mentality going into the game.
“We’re looking forward to just playing a really good Ohio State team,” Leone said. “We’ve had some good games against them up there… we’ve given them a run for their money. We’ll see how we do on Thursday.”
Maryland’s two away games at Ohio State under Leone resulted in a 1-1 tie and a 1-0 loss for the Terps. The format of the single-elimination tournament is such that teams are seeded and assigned to their regional sites based on the divisional alignment used for Big Ten football.
The winner of tomorrow’s game will play the winner of No. 3 Rutgers and No. 6 Michigan State. With that single-elimination format, the Terps aren’t placing any pressure on themselves.
“Just play freely,” Leone said. “We’ve got a shot, the pressure is all on Ohio State, not us at all. So we’ll play freely, we’ll put our best foot forward, and give them a good game.”
To advance, Maryland would have to win its first game of a rough season, in which injuries have ravaged the team.
It is unknown if either redshirt freshman goalkeeper Kennedy Tolson or redshirt junior forward Alyssa Poarch will be available for the game. Both left Maryland’s previous game against Penn State with injuries.