Maryland field hockey (6-6, 4-3 B1G) enters the final weekend of the regular season in an unfamiliar position. Currently the Terps sit at .500 good for sixth place in the conference and are currently on a three-game losing streak for the first time since 2015.
This weekend the Terps host another strong Big Ten team in No. 6 Rutgers (9-3, 5-2, B1G) on Thursday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at noon. The Terps are searching for momentum to carry them into the Big Ten Tournament, which begins in less than a week.
“We are doing really well,” head coach Missy Meharg said. “I’m very proud of the team. They are growing everyday. We would all like to be getting different results, however, the process and the quality of training is very high. What we are after tomorrow night is getting outcomes and a win.”
The Terps dominated Michigan offensively last Sunday, including out shooting the Wolverines 13-6, earning four more penalty corners than the Wolverines, but could not find the back of the goal.
Maryland’s offense has been stagnant, only scoring two goals in its past four games, but the Terps defense and goalie Noelle Frost’s play has kept the team in all their games. Frost is averaging 4.25 saves per game, which ranks fourth in the Big Ten.
“I think our defense has grown a lot,” Frost said. “We have definitely seen a lot of different girls in the backfield. I have 100% confidence in all my defenders. I know when I tell them to do something they are going to do it. I love having such a variety of ages like we have a freshman in Rayne Wright and she has fallen perfectly into place and we have girls as old as junior Riley Donelley and her instincts are spot on.”
Additionally, midfielder Brooke DeBerdine status is still up in the air for this weekend’s matches. Brooke DeBerdine missed her first collegiate match this past Sunday due to an injury.
Rutgers enters the series on a four-game winning streak and is looking for its first win against the Terps since 1998. There will be a familiar face on the Scarlet Knights sideline, as their head coach Meredith Civico played for the Terps from 2003-2005. She helped lead the Terps to three straight NCAA Final Four appearances and the 2005 NCAA National Championship.
“We compete very similarly, so we have become exceedingly good colleagues,” Meharg said. “We have always bonded and come as a force not only as Terps, but also coming into [the Big Ten Conference] together and both being east coast schools.”
The Scarlet Knights are led by midfielder Milena Redlingshoefer and back Liz Romano who lead the team with four goals apiece. Rutgers goalie Gianna Glatz has also been dominant, only allowing seven goals this season, which ranks third in the conference.
“I’m happy that they [Rutgers] are so highly ranked and playing so well,” Meharg said.