Last season, the Maryland Terrapins lost to the Connecticut Huskies in the National Championship game 2-1. Sunday, the two teams are set for a rematch in Storrs, Connecticut.
Maryland has had an impressive start to the season, compiling several wins against ranked opponents. Beginning the season 11-0 overall, and 3-0 in the Big Ten, the No. 3 Terps’ toughest test will be against the No. 2 Huskies in a battle for momentum in the later stages of the season.
Maryland captain Linnea Gonzales talked after a victory against Michigan about staying focused instead of getting caught up in the moment.
“Definitely always want to stay present with every game,” Gonzales said. “I know, people have been saying that, but it’s more about every game and staying present, and not looking forward or looking behind us.”
Gonzales’ outlook on the season is contagious within the Maryland locker room as players from around the team continue to praise the mentality that head coach Missy Meharg has taught. Gonzales also voiced her expectations for the team in a key matchup against Connecticut.
“Just showing them who Maryland is this year and that we are back,” Gonzales said. “Always good competition against them.”
Gonzales leads the team with 10 goals on the season and has provided a spark in her senior year for the Terps offense. Junior Nike Lorenz has also been a pleasant surprise for the Maryland roster, scoring eight goals and producing key defensive plays down the stretch. Lorenz believes that this roster is extremely special.
Senior Cecile Pieper leads the Huskies with 10 goals and 26 points in her final season with the program. Pieper has been an important leader for the undefeated Huskies this season. Junior Svea Boker has also had an impressive season posting eight goals and six assists.
Connecticut’s veteran roster includes a young redshirt freshman at goalkeeper in Cheyenne Sprecher. Sprecher has made 31 saves in her nine starts on the season.
“We spend a lot of time together,” Lorenz said. “We see each other almost every day. We eat together, we hang out together, we all live together, and I think that is really special. It makes the team spirit real special and in tune. And I really like that.”
Maryland is 5-2 all-time against the Huskies, winning the only meeting between the two teams in Storrs by a score of 2-1 in the 2012 quarterfinals. Maryland’s offense, behind Gonzales and Lorenz, is currently No. 2 in the country in goals scored.
The meeting will be an emotional battle between the two teams as both programs put their current undefeated record on the line Sunday.