No. 9 Maryland field hockey set to face two former ACC rivals in annual Big Ten/ACC Cup

Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

No. 9 Maryland field hockey (1-0) embarks on their first road trip of the season this weekend to Durham, North Carolina for the annual Big Ten/ACC Cup against No. 7 Boston College (2-0) on Friday at 3 p.m. and No. 12 Duke (1-1) on Sunday at 2 p.m. 

No. 4 Northwestern is the other Big 10 team competing in the tournament. 

Head coach Missy Meharg started the Big 10/ACC Cup when the Terps moved into the Big Ten back in 2014 and personally selected the three other teams.

“All four teams are top 10 and are very stacked and very strong,” Meharg said. 

This weekend will be the Terps first full field hockey weekend after the game against UMass Lowell got cancelled due to weather. The Terps are coming off a thrilling 4-3 double overtime victory against No. 20 Saint Josephs when forward Bibi Donraadt had the game winning defensive save in the first overtime period followed by the winning goal less than a minute into the second overtime period. 

The players are also excited for the tournament after it was cancelled last year because of COVID-19. 

“The ACC is obviously a very strong conference,” team captain and midfielder Brooke DeBerdine said. “But being in the Big 10 we have definitely grown the last couple years and I think that has shown in opening weekend, but we are excited to figure out what that competition looks like on the other side.” 

Boston College’s offense and defense were both strong over opening weekend. The Eagles offense scored six goals and drew 16 penalty corners while the defense only allowed two goals and limited their opponents to a total of 15 shots. 

The Eagles are led by forward Margo Carlin who has already scored a goal and registered 13 shots in just two games.

“Margo Carlin is a forward to reckon with,” Meharg said. “You don’t want her (or anyone) to fall into the (shooting) circle or the dotted area because if they try Maryland will be there first.”

The coaching staff will brief the players on the techniques the coaches have picked up on when they arrive in North Carolina. Terps goalie Noelle Frost will rely on prior matches when facing Boston College. 

“I [have] noticed from previous years of playing BC that they all have very great hands in the circle, so just being ready for pretty much anything,” goalie Noelle Frost said. 

Duke has performed well in this tournament and sports a 9-1 all time record with their lone loss coming against the Terps in 2018. The Blue Devils will get a boost this weekend when midfielder/forward Leah Crouse returns after missing last weekend’s games because of the Junior Pan American games and most of last season with an injury. Crouse is the Blue Devils leading returning scorer from 2019 with 11 goals. 

So far the Blue Devils have only scored one goal but the team has also struggled drawing penalty corners only earning six total in their first two games,

Friday’s game will be streamed on ACCNX while Sunday’s game will be televised on the ACC Network.