Women’s Soccer Writer
While earning a #1 seed for the ACC Tournament would have been preferred, the Maryland Terrapins are more than happy to have locked up the #2 seed, setting them up for an opening round matchup against the seventh seeded Duke Blue Devils Wednesday afternoon.
This is the second time in the program’s history that the Lady Terps have earned the #2 seed in the tournament. The last time was in 1999, and that team faced Duke as well, winning 2-1.
Maryland (15-2-1, 7-2-1 ACC) is coming off a dominant win over Miami in the regular season finale and is coming to Cary, N.C as one of the hottest teams in the nation. They’re riding a three-game winning streak, including two monster wins over top ten teams in UNC (#1 overall seed) and Florida State (#4 seed).
The Terps have won this year thanks to a balanced attack that ranks third in the ACC with 2.50 goals per game and are second in assists (2.83). The attack is led by Jasmyne Spencer (9 goals), Sade Ayinde (8) and Ashley Grove (8). Yet, the defense isn’t slacking either for the Terrapins; they’re fourth in the conference in goals allowed with 0.94 per game. Goalie Yewande Balogun has been solid for the Terps and continues to impress.
However, Duke (10-6-3, 4-5-1 ACC) is a team that could derail the Terps’ storybook season. The Blue Devils handed Maryland their only tie of the year, a double overtime 1-1 score at Ludwig Field in September.
Duke comes into the tournament 3-1 in their last four games, with their loss coming from in-state rival UNC. While their record isn’t indicative of their strong attack, the Devils can score. They are second in the ACC for shots per game with 18.42 and are right behind Maryland in goals per game with 2.22. Freshman forward Laura Weinberg leads the team with nine goals.
The winner of this game will play the winner of the No. 3 seed Virginia/No. 6 seed Boston College match, a game that will be played at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Maryland’s Record: (15-2-1, 7-2-1 ACC)
Opponent’s Record: (10-6-3, 4-5-1 ACC)
Time: 5:00 pm ET
Location: Cary, N.C
Coverage: http://www.theacc.com/championships/ Gametracker
Prediction: This will be a tough matchup for the Terps and potential trap. But coming into the tournament so hot gives them an upper hand. History repeats itself and Maryland wins a close one 2-1 with Jasmyne Spencer and Sade Ayinde scoring.