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Top-ranked Maryland hosts defending champion Princeton
No. 1 Maryland
The Terrapins take a break from ACC play for the weekend, hosting defending national champion and current ninth-ranked Princeton on Friday before making the short trip to American for a game on Sunday. Maryland has a 16-7-1 record all time against Princeton though the Tigers won both of last season’s meetings, including a 3-2 win in the national semifinals. Only once have the Terrapins lost to American in 37 meetings, and have won 11 consecutive games dating back to 2004.
Maryland’s offense leads the nations in goals per game (4.97), scoring margin (3.73), assists per game (3.67) and points per game (13.67). In their 12 games of the season, 15 different Terrapins have scored and 11 have scored two goals or more. Senior Jill Witmer sits at No. 10 on Maryland's career scoring list with 58 goals scored in her four years. She has 141 points in her career, which puts her at No. 9 on Maryland's career points list.
No. 2 North Carolina
The Tar Heels make the short trip to Winston-Salem, N.C., to face ACC foe Wake Forest on Saturday. In their past two conference games, the Tar Heels have lost both games with one being decided in overtime while the other went to penalty strokes. North Carolina picked up a pair of wins against the Demon Deacons last season including a 4-0 win in the ACC semifinals.
North Carolina’s defense has been strong all season and has yet to give up more than two goals in a game this season. Four times this season the Tar Heels have blanked their opponents and they currently have a 4.36-.91 advantage in goals-per-game average. The offense, which is led by Nina Notman’s seven goals, has scored 48 times this year.
No. 3 Syracuse
Syracuse (10-1, 1-1 ACC) is in action for two games this weekend, traveling to No. 7 Duke (10-2, 2-0 ACC) on Friday and then returning home where it has a 41-game winning streak to host New Hampshire (6-5) on Sunday. Syracuse is 4-1 against ranked opponents this season, most recently beating No. 4 Virginia 4-1 last Saturday at home. In its last 28 meetings against a ranked opponent, Syracuse has come away with a win 21 times. Syracuse has never played Duke before, and has won its past three matchups with New Hampshire to go to 3-4 all-time against the Wildcats.
Three different Orange players have had hat tricks this season. The first came from Lauren Brooks against Michigan State, followed by Leonie Geyer who did it against Virginia. The Orange got its second hat trick in two days when Karlee Farr did it one day after Geyer, this time to Monmouth.
No. 4 Connecticut
Connecticut will host No. 14 Louisville on Friday and Boston University on Sunday and look to pick up a pair of wins while rebounding from its first loss of the season. The Huskies enter the weekend with a 10-1 overall record, including a 3-0 mark in Big East play. Friday’s game will be a matchup of the two teams tied atop the Big East standings though the Huskies have won the previous five meetings.
UConn is led by reigning Big East offensive player of the week Chloe Hunnable, who has posted a team-high 11 goals and 25 points this season. Two-time Big East defensive player of the week Roisin Upton is tied with preseason Big East offensive player of the year, Marie Elena Bolles, with six goals, five assists and 17 points.
No. 5 Virginia
Virginia faces its third consecutive ranked opponent, hosting No. 6 Boston College (10-2, 1-1 ACC) on Friday. It will be Virginia's eighth overall and third consecutive game against a top-20 opponent after taking on No. 5 Syracuse and No. 12 Albany last weekend. Both of Virginia's losses this year have come against top-five ranked teams.
Virginia comes into the week ranked No. 10 among all teams, averaging 3.33 goals per game and seventh with a 1.17 goals-against average, giving it the sixth-best scoring margin in the nation (2.07). Virginia senior forward Elly Buckley leads the conference with 40 points and 17 goals. Boston College's Emma Plasteras is tied for second in the ACC with 30 points this season and also ranks second in goals with 10.
No. 6 Boston College
Boston College heads to take on fifth-ranked Virginia on Friday and then play a non-conference game against Longwood on Sunday. The Eagles look to improve on their 10-2 overall record and 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference tally. Last weekend, the Maroon and Gold matched last year's win total and recorded the 14th consecutive double-digit win season, spanning head coach Ainslee Lamb's entire career at the Heights. The Cavaliers hold the advantage against the Eagles in the all-time series, 9-5. They have won the five of the last six meetings including last year's.
Goalkeeper Leah Settipane has started all 12 games this season and has a 1.83 goals-against average. Three times this year she has posted a shutout and has a .776 save percentage. While Plasteras has the team lead with 10 assists, Paige Norris is second on the team with seven.
No. 7 Duke
Duke will put its five-match win streak on the line on Friday when it hosts No. 3 Syracuse. The two teams will face off for the first time in program history after the Orange joined the ACC earlier this year.
Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Blazing leads the ACC and ranks second in the country in save percentage with a .821 clip through 12 games. She has compiled a 1.09 goals-against average in addition to guiding the defense to three shutouts. After topping the 100-point mark for her career earlier this season, senior forward Emmie Le Marchand continues to etch her name into the program record books. With 111 points for her career, she currently sits ninth overall in school history. Le Marchand also ranks eighth all-time in career goals (45) and is tied for 17th in career assists (21).
No. 8 Penn State
The Nittany Lions host Big Ten rival Ohio State on Friday to kick off homecoming weekend. After the matchup with the Buckeyes, the Blue and White will travel to Bucknell to play the Bison on Sunday in a match that is set to start at noon. Penn State has a 33-10-2 edge against Ohio State though the teams have split their previous four meetings. Against Bucknell, Penn State has won 35 of the 39 all-time meetings.
The Nittany Lions defense has been on lockdown during its current seven-game winning streak, recording five shutouts in that span. The Blue and White's five shutouts are the most in the Big Ten this season. The Lions have allowed one goal in their previous five matches combined. Individually, Penn State has won each of the previous four Defensive Big Ten Player of the Week awards, with Kylie Licata being the most recent recipient.
No. 9 Princeton
Princeton opens its five-game road swing on Friday at No. 1 Maryland, marking the fifth ranked team Princeton has faced this season, including third top-five. Two days later, the Tigers will take a trip to Newark, Del., to square off with the Delaware Blue Hens. Maryland owns the all-time series versus Princeton, 16-6-1, including an 8-2 advantage at home. Princeton and Delaware are tied in the all-time series, 11-11-3; however the Blue Hens have a 5-4-1 advantage when playing at home.
Junior Cassidy Arner earned her first career Ivy League Player of the Week honor last week for her first career multi-goal game against Columbia. Those were the first two goals of the season for Arner, and the Tigers are led on offense by Allison Evan’s seven goals and 17 points.
No. 10 Northwestern