Maryland has a few big games against Wake Forest in the next few days. The first, the #3 field hockey team takes on the #1 team in the nation in Winston-Salem.
Maryland has gotten off on the right foot this year out of the gate, starting the season 7-1. Despite a setback to upstart Syracuse (now #2), they have convincing wins over ranked teams Penn State, Michigan, American, and Boston College. Sophomore forward Katie O'Donnell (pictured), the U.S. National Team member before she even came to Maryland, continues to be a strong leader with nine goals and nine assists. Senior back Susie Rowe has had a huge year thus far, notching ten goals, including three game winners. Maryland has outscored their opponents 37-6 in eight games and have proven themselves time and again against solid competition.
Wake Forest has had a tremendous after reaching the Final Four last season. The Deacs are 8-0 to start, with top-10 teams North Carolina, Iowa, James Madison, and Duke all biting the dust. While Maryland has two big stars, Wake relies on a more balanced offense. U-21 senior Back Michelle Kasold has 10 assists with senior Minou Gimbrere having nine. On the scoring front junior Hilary Moore leads the team with seven goals.
Wake Forest isn't a team that will overwhelm you. Whereas Maryland has five wins by four goals or more, Wake only has one. But the Deacs have incredible wins and the home field advantage. This is going to be an incredible game, and the winner will be the favorite to win the ACC.
You can listen to the game on WMUC Sports live from Winston-Salem at noon on Saturday.
(Photo credits: Maryland athletics (O'Donnell), USA Today (Wake))