Sticks of the Week: New No. 1 Maryland looks to hold it down at home against Scarlet Knights

Liam Oram

Sports Blogger

@liam_oram

 

Duke Blue Devils at Virginia Cavaliers

1 p.m. Saturday

VisitPlano/Flickr

No. 12 Virginia finally snagged its first ACC victory last Saturday, and what an impressive one it was. Mike D’amario and Michael Krause led the Cavaliers (9-3) to their impressive offensive victory. They provided seven goals together to help lift the Hoos over the weaker Carolina defense. The Cavaliers’ defense also stepped up as their freshman goalie Alex Rode posted 10 saves. The Cavaliers are going to have confidence coming into this game as they look to grab their second ACC victory on the year and are going to have to show off their offense. This will be many of the young players’ first time facing No. 5 Duke, and they will have to be ready. The Blue Devils (10-2) had a big victory against Notre Dame last Saturday and got major production from their star player Justin Guterding, who provided two goals. The Blue Devils have been great all around the ball. Duke has lost only by being outshot, but it has made major adjustments to its defense in an attempt to counteract that. The Blue Devils have also received great goalie play from Danny Fowler, who has been nearly unstoppable in net. The Blue Devils have been balanced all around the ball as they have received great help from their attackmen every game, and their defense has kept teams from scoring. Last year, Duke controlled the entirety of the match, but Virginia has majorly improved its offense. Duke has retained many of the players that made it great last year. It should be a close game.

Johns Hopkins Blue Jays at Penn State Nittany Lions

1 p.m. Saturday, ESPNU

No. 14 Penn State has been one of the best teams to watch this year. The Nittany Lions (7-4) have received major production from their sophomore attackman Mac O’Keefe, who has 28 goals on the year. The Lions have also received great goalie production from Colby Kneese as he has a great save percentage of 56. They have claimed big victories against teams such as Ohio State and played a  competitive game against the No. 1 team in the nation. The Lions have shown off their great offense and are looking to try to take off in their Big Ten games, but they will have a hard matchup against No.4 Johns Hopkins. The Blue Jays (8-2) have shown how balanced their offense is. They have shared the load between senior attackman Shack Stanwick and senior midfielder Joel Tinney. The Blue Jays have also received great goalie performances from Brock Turnbaugh to help them. The Jays have won seven straight games and have been playing in great form. Their offense has been the main driving force behind their streak of great games. In last year’s matchup, Penn State had a late surge in an attempt to win but couldn’t finish the job. The Nittany Lions will be hungry to win this year, so expect it to be as close as it was last year.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Maryland Terrapins

6 p.m. Sunday, Big Ten Network

No. 1 Maryland has finally moved back to the top of the rankings after Albany took a stunning loss to UMBC. The Terrapins (9-1) have had the best defense in the league like last year and have one of the best midfielders in the nation, Connor Kelly. Kelly has 28 goals this season and reached that total after he tallied six last week against Penn State. The Terps’ senior goalie Dan Morris has been one of the best in the nation. Maryland stifled many of the offenses it has faced, and that has been no different in its Big Ten games. The Terps will look to stay undefeated in Big Ten play and remain on top of the standings, but they are going to have to be prepared as No. 8 Rutgers is looking for another signature victory. The Scarlet Knights (8-3) have a major year of resurgence this year as they are playing like they used to. The Knights have gotten major production from senior attackman Jules Heningburg, who has provided 30 goals. They have also received great goalie play from Max Edelman who has saved 50 percent of the shots he has seen. They have received signature victories against Syracuse, Michigan, and Delaware, and beating the No. 1 team in the nation can only help them. This matchup went to triple overtime last year, and both teams have skills in certain areas. Expect this game to be just as good as it was last year.

ozone@ocolly.com

 

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