Maryland has won 24 of 25 meetings in this series, with Rutgers' lone victory in College Park in 1980. The Scarlet Knights are 3-2 on the road and are riding a four-game winning streak, while the Terps are 3-0 at home and have not lost in their last seven contests.

No. 18 Rutgers (9-2 overall and 2-0 in the conference) is off to its best start since 2003 when that squad also opened the season at 9-2. The defense ranks 15th in Division I at 8.6 goals per game thanks to Kris Alleyne. The senior goalkeeper ranks eighth in save percentage (.568) in the country and 14th in goals-against average (8.17).


No. 5 Maryland (8-2, 2-0) has won at least eight of its first 10 games for the fourth consecutive year. All six starters on offense have accumulated at least 10 points. Junior attackman Matt Rambo and senior midfielder Bryan Cole are tied for the team lead in points (27).

Here are a few factors that could play a role in the Big Ten matchup at 4 p.m. Saturday at Maryland Stadium in College Park.

1) Rutgers on ground balls. Maryland has collected 28.0 ground balls per game this spring, which isn't a terrible number. But it pales in comparison to the Scarlet Knights' average of 34.6, which is exceeded by only three other teams in Division I. Terps coach John Tillman said one of his biggest concerns is that Rutgers' penchant for collecting loose balls will lead to fast breaks and an accelerated tempo.

"They push the ball in just about any situation – off faceoffs, going from defense to offense, clearing the ball," Tillman said. "They attack the goal faster than any team I've seen all year. They push, push, push. They do a great job of getting behind you. They do a great job of picking up ground balls and running by you and streaking down the field. They have great athletes, they're very fast. Their defensive midfielders, whether it's the short-sticks or the long-sticks, are fast and they can handle."

2) Rutgers on offense. Maryland's defense is tied for 10th in the nation after allowing just 8.0 goals per game. But the unit will face its fourth Top 10 offense in the Scarlet Knights, who have scored 13.1 goals. Rutgers' starting attack of senior Scott Bieda, redshirt freshman Adam Charalambides and sophomore Jules Heningburg has scored 49, 43 and 41 points, respectively, and that trio has caught Tillman's attention.

"Their attack is very skilled," he said. "If you look at what the pieces are, their coaching staff has done a great job of playing to their strengths. They have really skilled players that they can get into unsettled situations, they stretch the field, they shoot well, they make the extra pass, and they can finish."

3) Maryland on offense. The Terps' scoring average of 10.6 goals is tied for 28th in the country, but the offense managed just eight goals in a one-goal win at Michigan on April 2 and needed overtime to score 11 and outlast No. 15 Penn State on Sunday. CBS Sports Network analyst Evan Washburn said he would like to see a more consistent effort from Maryland.

"I think we see flashes, and at it's best, that's what makes this team a Final Four team, but you don't always get that," the former Delaware defenseman said. "I think there have been lulls at times. It's almost like you get the best of it, but it's in a small sample size sprinkled around a couple quarters. That's great, but I'd like to see them play with a sharpness that can cover a game from start to finish."

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