PHILADELPHIA – Facing its toughest test yet of the 2014 season, the University of Pennsylvania field hockey team heads to College Park on Sunday, to face second-ranked Maryland at 1 p.m.
The Quakers (4-5, 1-2 Ivy) are coming off a midweek, 4-2, home defeat to Monmouth on Thursday as they prepare for Maryland (9-2, 3-1 Big Ten), which plays No. 4 Penn State at home on Friday before facing the Red and Blue.
The Terrapins began the season ranked No. 1 in the country, and have remained in the top five despite losses to at the time second-ranked North Carolina, and No. 15 Northwestern.
Penn is looking to snap a two-game losing skid before returning to Ivy play next Saturday against Columbia.
SCOUTING MARYLAND: Eight of the Terrapins 11 games have been played against ranked opponents thus far this season. Maryland is outscoring opponents 34-13. Eleven players have scored one or more goals, led by freshman Moira Putsch and senior Maxine Fluharty with seven. Junior Anna Desoye and junior Sarah Sprink each have five goals. Senior Katie Gerzabek is sixth in the country in assists per game (1.00), with 11 for the season. In goal, the Terrapins have Brooke Cabrera, who is seventh in the nation with a 1.04 goals against average. The redshirt senior goalkeeper has made 23 saves on the season.
THE SERIES WITH MARYLAND: This will be the 20th meeting between Penn and Maryland. Maryland holds a 14-5 advantage over the Quakers in there series, including winning the last 11 matchups. The last meeting between the schools occurred in 2008, in a game that Maryland won 5-1.
HOOVER – TOP FIVE GOALS PER GAME: With nine goals in nine games, freshman Alexa Hoover is currently sitting in a tie for fifth nationally in goals per game average (1.00). Hoover is leading the Quakers in goals with nine, and has 20 points overall this season.
…ALSO IN GOALS PER GAME: Not far behind Hoover in individual goals per game is Penn senior Emily Corcoran – she ranks 17th nationally with a 0.89 average, having scored eight goals in nine games.
OFFENSIVE SCORING AVERAGE: As a team the Quakers rank 13th in the country averaging 3.11 goals per game. Penn has scored three or more goals five times in nine games thus far in 2014.
ASSISTING THE OFFENSE: A number of individuals have helped drive the Quaker offense during the season. Penn enters the Maryland game with 21 assists from seven different players – Elizabeth Hitti (5), Alex Iqbal (4), MaryRose Croddick (4), Emily Corcoran (3), Alexa Hoover (2), Claire Kneizys (3), and Elise Tilton (1).
PULLING TOGETHER ON DEFENSE: Penn will look to strengthen and improve its defense against a tough offensive Maryland squad. In the first seven games of the season Penn had allowed just 11 goals, but in the past two games have allowed nine goals. Freshman goalkeeper Liz Mata saw her first action in Thursday’s game against Monmouth and senior goalkeeper Allison Weisenfels has played well in the first half of the season, making 41 saves, with a 1.94 goals against average.