No. 3 Maryland field hockey (7-1, B1G 1-0) returns home for their Big Ten home opening weekend against No. 8 Michigan (4-3, B1G 0-1) on Friday and Michigan State (4-2, B1G 0-1) on Sunday.
Maryland started off scorching hot, winning their first seven games of the season before hitting a road bump on Tuesday against No. 7 Princeton, falling to the Tigers in double overtime on a penalty corner goal.
“Reality is that it’s very difficult to go undefeated an entire season, and we’re going to take the positives and stay together with and take it into Michigan,” head coach Missy Meharg said.
The Terps have continued spreading the ball around as forward Hope Rose continues her prolific sophomore season.
Rose scored and recorded an assist in the Princeton loss, extending her team lead in both categories. Rose is one of six Terps that has scored three or more goals this season.
Michigan and Michigan State are looking for their first conference wins of the season after suffering one goal losses last weekend.
The Wolverines are looking for their first top six win of the season, having gone 0-3 against the current top six teams.
Maryland will need to be sharp defensively to contain an explosive Wolverines offense that has taken 140 shots and earned 57 penalty corners, the second most t in the Big Ten.
“They’re super fast getting to leads on the sidelines,” Meharg said. “We’re really going to look to be intercepting those leads that are heading out to the sideline.”
Maryland defenders and midfielders Rayne Wright, Riley Donnelly, Natalie Fiechter, Ericka Morris-Adams and Leah Crouse have all shined, holding their opponents to 5.9 shots per game.
Despite taking many shots and earning penalty corners, the Wolverines have only scored 19 goals, with nine coming against Central Michigan.
The Terps seek to continue their perfect record against the Spartans, looking for their 15th consecutive win.
The Spartans have one of the best goalies in the Big Ten in Monique Jardell, who’s tied for a conference lead, averaging 4.50 saves a game.