Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics.

No. 2 Terps travel to Piscataway to take on Rutgers in Big Ten road matchup

Saturday will be a day of sibling rivalry between No. 2 Maryland (11-0, 2-0 B1G) and Rutgers (5-6, 0-2 B1G). Junior attacker Kali Hartshorn for Maryland will be facing off against her sister freshman attacker Marin Hartshorn for Rutgers. Both sisters will not have to wait long to faceoff, as they’ll take the opening draw.

Saturday also presents an opportunity for history. With a win, Maryland head coach Cathy Reese will tie Cindy Timchal as the program’s winningest head coach with 260 wins. Reese played under Timchal at Maryland, as well as serving as an assistant coach on her staff.

After a four goal performance against No. 14 Princeton, Hartshorn has now scored 30 or more goals in three consecutive seasons. In addition, Hartshorn is coming off one of her best games in the draw circle for the Terps- winning 18 of a possible 24 draw controls. Throughout this season, head coach Cathy Reese has emphasized the importance of winning at the draw circle because wins at the draw circle lead to possessions.

Maryland will look to continue its success in the draw circle, but will look to reduce the number of turnovers both on offense and defense. Each of the past two games, the Terps have had 12 or more turnovers, a number that Reese would like to cut below 10 every game.

“Our main focus has to be on turnovers, we need to just take a deep breath,” Reese said after the 15-7 win over Princeton. “We have to make sure we’re not getting complacent out there and that we’re not getting ahead of ourselves and trying to move too fast.”

While the Terps have struggled with the turnover bug in recent games, they have played strong fundamental defense, holding each of their last three opponents to seven goals or less. A key for Maryland’s defense has been communication not allowing open cutters and making sure everyone is aware of their assignments. When opposing offenses have found space, senior goalie Megan Taylor has been there to back up her defense.

“The stats speak for themselves, [Megan] is amazing,” junior defender Lizzie Colson said after the win against Princeton. “I feel so confident having her, even if I get beat I know that Megan has my back.”

The Terps will need to maintain effective communication against the potent Scarlet Knight offense. Rutgers is led by the duo of sophomore attacker Taralyn Naslonski and junior midfielder Samantha Budd, both have scored 34 and 30 goals respectively.

Offensive balance will continue to be important for Maryland, generating production from both the attack and midfield. Senior midfielder Jen Giles, the team leader in goals, is coming off a four-goal performance against Princeton. Each of the last three games, at least seven different Terps have scored a goal-a trend which Maryland will look to continue against Rutgers.

First draw is scheduled for 5:00 p.m between the Terps and the Scarlet Knights from High Point Solutions Stadium.