No. 8 Maryland field hockey gears up for homestretch of the regular season

Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

No. 8 Maryland field hockey (10-5, B1G 1-5)  remains in Michigan to face No. 2 Michigan (13-1, B1G 5-1) on Sunday in their last road trip of the regular season. 

“For us it’s about finishing and goal scoring on penalty corners and just open play,” head coach Missy Meharg said. “On the other side of the field [we are working on] just limiting unforced errors.”

The Terps accomplished that in their 4-0 shutout victory against Michigan State taking 26 shots while holding the Spartans to only one shot, but have a tough challenge in the Wolverines.

The Terps are still looking for their first win against a ranked team higher than twelve and have one final opportunity against the Wolverines. 

The Terps split last weekends’ matches falling 1-0 to No. 3 Rutgers and getting shut out for the first time this season and pulled out a 3-2 win against No. 17 UConn on Sunday, despite allowing two late goals making the score closer than the match appeared. 

“I think the mindset going into Michigan is that we know both games are going to be tough,” midfielder Brooke DeBerdine said. It’s Big Ten play and we would like to get some wins under our belt in the Big Ten, but we are confident.”

The Wolverines suffered their first loss last Friday, falling in a shootout against No. 1 Iowa, but rebounded on Sunday to beat Indiana 5-3 and have a tough weekend ahead. On Friday, the Wolverines faced No. 3 Rutgers, and dominated them to earn a 3-0 shutout victory. The Wolverines held the Scarlet Knights to three total shots and zero penalty corners. 

A win against Michigan would help boost their candidacy to return to the NCAA tournament. 

The Wolverines are led by midfielder Sofia Southam, who leads the team and the conference with 16 goals, and midfielder Kathryn Peterson, who leads the team in assists with seven and also has scored four goals. 

The Wolverines also have one of the best goalies in the conference in Anna Spieker who has only allowed 13 goals on season and has made 39 saves. 

“I think the biggest thing is being able to switch off girls quickly,” Meharg said. “Michigan is a far more sophisticated team than the Terps offensively and our markers have got to mark them and not let them field the ball.”

The Terps will play Michigan on Sunday at 1 p.m. and the game can be streamed on Big Ten Plus.