The Maryland lacrosse team has really been put through the ringer in terms of their schedule this season.
Most recently, the Terrapins edged No. 5 Albany 12-11 on Wednesday. Three different players registered three points on the afternoon.
Since dropping a 13-12 overtime decision to Villanova on March 18, Maryland has won four consecutive games. Those of those victories have come against top five teams in Penn State and Albany.
The Terps are playing their best lacrosse of the season at the perfect time. They will be looking to return to Memorial Day weekend for the third consecutive year.
Let’s take a look at what could impact Sunday evening’s Big Ten contest against Rutgers.
- Rutgers shoots a lot – The Scarlet Knights average 42.2 shots-per-game and have fired 464 on the season. While scoring opportunities are never a bad thing, Rutgers has had an issue converting their attempts into goals. On the season, they’ve only connected on 28.7 percent of their shots. Their top two goal scorers, Kieran Mullins and Jules Heningburg, have combined to rip off 141 shots and have only tallied 49 goals. This is clearly a team that isn’t afraid to pepper the opposing the goalie. Goalie Dan Morris is certainly going to have to have a strong performance in the cage. He’s coming off a game in which he stopped 12 Great Dane shots.
- Matt Rambo – It’s hard to find a team that the Maryland star attackman hasn’t had success against. However, Rambo has really turned up his play against Rutgers in three meetings over the past two years. The Pennsylvania native has tallied 17 points (nine goals & eight assists) and recorded a hat trick in all three games. Rambo has 45 points (25 goals & 20 assists) this season and is shooting 32.5 percent. He is one of the most gifted playmakers in the entire country and another big performance wouldn’t be a huge surprise given the opponent.
- Battle for ground balls – This is one area where Maryland truly excels. The Terps rack up 33.1 ground balls per contest, which is good for seventh in the country. On the other hand, Rutgers is just as opportunistic when it comes to that category. The Scarlet Knights accumulate 33.7 ground balls per game and 10 different players have scooped up at least 15 this season. 50/50 balls are going to play a huge role in the outcome of this game. Rutgers isn’t going to be shy when it comes to ripping shots, so extra opportunities could hurt Maryland.