Maryland (15-0, 5-0 B1G) faced its biggest adversity of the season in its last outing, coming back from three goals down early to defeat No. 6 Northwestern 17-13.
It was a wild game, having to be moved indoors because of the weather, but the veteran filled Terps squad displayed their poise and composure. Now Maryland will travel eight miles to Washington D.C., taking on the No. 24 Georgetown Hoyas (8-6, 2-1 Big East).
In the victory over the Wildcats, senior attacker Caroline Steele led the Terps with five goals and an assist while generating 13 goals on goal. After battling some lower leg injuries earlier in the season, Steele is back in form proving to be a nightmare for opposing defenses. Steele has showcased the ability to score from all over the field, using several angles on her shots making it difficult for opposing defenses to detect. As a result of her strong performance against Northwestern, Steele was awarded the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week for the second time in her career.
Each one of the Terps attackers and midfielders were attacking with reckless abandon against the Wildcats, leading to 10 free position opportunities. Maryland capitalized on six of 10 opportunities several coming in pivotal moments throughout the game. Midfielder Erica Evans also found her groove against the Wildcats scoring a season high four goals and generating a season high eight shots.
Despite struggling with ball security in the first few minutes, Maryland finished with eight turnovers a trend they would like to continue against the Hoyas. Head coach Cathy Reese has said numerous times throughout the season that she would like to have less than ten turnovers per game.
Although the Wildcats offense gave Maryland’s defense fits at certain points of the game, the defense clamped up the final 12 minutes only allowing one goal. Senior goalie Megan Taylor continued to come up big down the stretch, stifling the Wildcats comeback attempt late in the game. However, Northwestern was able to catch Maryland’s defense in some miscommunications something they will look to improve before taking on the Hoyas.
Georgetown is led by senior attacker Morgan Ryan who has scored 33 goals so far this season, including five in the Wildcats most recent victory over Villanova. Senior midfielder Francesca Whitehurst is the Hoyas do it all player with 25 goals on the season, but also 21 assists showcasing her ability to facilitate as well. While Reese never emphasizes to focus on one particular player, the Terps defense will need to effectively communicate where Ryan and Whitehurst are on the field at all times.
All six of the Hoyas losses this season have come against ranked opponents, similar to Maryland playing a heavy dose of ranked opponents. First draw is scheduled for 7 p.m from Copper Field, where the game will be televised on FS1.
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