Oct. 10, 2008
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -
The nation's top field hockey team returns home for the first time since earning that distinction as No. 1 Maryland welcomes two opponents this weekend. First up will be ACC rival and ninth-ranked Duke on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. On Sunday, Ivy League foe Penn will be in town to face the Terrapins at 2 p.m. Both games can be heard on Maryland's WMUC Sports Radio at www.wmucsports.com.
Maryland (10-1, 3-0) vaulted to the top of the polls September 30 after defeating then-No. 1 Wake Forest, 4-2 in Winston-Salem, N.C., then returning home to defeat Richmond, 7-0. They maintained their position with a hard-fought 4-3 overtime victory at Virginia last Saturday.
Up first for the Terrapins this weekend will be a Duke team which is making its first road trip since falling, 4-1, at then-No. 2 Wake Forest on Sept. 13. Relying on a defense which allows the eighth fewest goals per game in the nation (1.09), the Blue Devils (8-3, 1-2) score just 2.18 goals per game, 36th overall. They are coming off back-to-back shutout victories last weekend, knocking off Boston College 5-0 and Boston University 2-0.
Maryland will be wearing pink jerseys on Saturday to promote awareness for breast cancer. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Meanwhile, Penn comes into College Park with a record of 2-8, 1-2 in the Ivy League. Their hopes will lie with junior goalie Alanna Butera, whose 6.9 saves per game puts her 12th in the country. Her .758 save percentage is good for 22nd.
The Terps will have to go through the weekend without three of their teammates, as sophomore Katie O'Donnell (Blue Bell, Pa./Wissahickon), and juniors Brianna Davies (Annville, Pa./Palmyra) and Alexis Pappas (Mount Joy, Pa./Donegal) will be wrapping up play at the 2008 Junior Pan-American Games in Mexico City, Mexico. The trio is competing for the U.S. Junior National Team, which has thus far defeated Bermuda 21-0 and Trinidad & Tobago 7-1. O'Donnell has tallied four goals thus far, while Pappas added one.
Despite the absences, Maryland can rely on a deep roster which has claimed each of the last three ACC Player of the Week awards. Senior Emma Thomas (High Wycombe, England/Wycombe) garnered the recognition this week, as her goal in the 81st minute of play gave the Terps the overtime win in Charlottesville. She also assisted on the game-tying goal with just over four minutes to play in regulation. O'Donnell took home the award the previous week, following up on the honor earned by senior Susie Rowe (London, England/Colfe's School), the team's top goal scorer.
Both contests this weekend will be played at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex off of Paint Branch Road. Admission and parking to the games are free.
- TERPS -