No. 8 Maryland field hockey face former ACC rival in No. 12 Virginia

Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

No. 8 Maryland field hockey (7-4, B1G 1-3) hopes to end a two game skid against No. 12 Virginia (7-3, ACC 2-1) at Charlottesville on Thursday.

The Terps just finished a daunting two game stretch with No. 4 Northwestern and No. 1 Iowa, finding the back of the net only twice after scoring 22 goals in their previous five matches. 

“We have been working on our connectivity as a group and just getting outcomes and scoring goals like we know we can,” midfielder Emma DeBerdine said. 

The Terps defense, however, has stepped up in crucial junctures. The corner defense remained strong on Sunday against Iowa and at one point stopped four straight Iowa penalty corners to keep the game scoreless. 

The Cavaliers have drawn 68 penalty corners of their own, but almost a third of them came against Towson in early September. 

This is the Maryland’s first match at Turf Field since their 1-0 overtime loss to Virginia in the Quarterfinals and the NCAA tournament. The Terps are looking for their first win in Charlottesville since 2017. 

“I don’t really look at Virginia as a rival,” head coach Missy Meharg said. “I think it’s a great solid Power Five DMV matchup.”

The Cavaliers are coming off a big double overtime win against No. 20 Duke on Friday and are fully rested with nearly a week off.  

All three goalies for Virginia have seen action this season with the trio recording 31 saves combined while only allowing 11 total goals. Cavaliers goalie Tyler Kennedy has shouldered most of the load playing in nine of the team’s ten matches. Kennedy has recorded 23 saves. 

The Cavaliers are anchored by defender Amber Ezechiels who leads the team with five goals and forward Greer Grill who leads the team with four assists. 

The match can be streamed on the ACC Network at 4 pm.