Maryland is off to a 12-0 start for the 12th time program history and the fifth time in the last six years. The No. 2 Terps, however, are about to run into the toughest stretch of their season, facing No. 4 Boston College Saturday and No. 1 North Carolina on April 5.
The Terps have never lost to Boston College, but second-year coach Acacia Walker, a former Terps All-American, has the Eagles at their highest ranking ever. Walker was the Eagles' offensive coordinator for two years before taking the head coaching job, and she's had the attack surging the past few years behind a couple of high-scoring juniors, attacker Covie Stanwick and midfielder Mikaela Rix, both two-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference players and veterans of the 2011 world champion U.S. Under-19 team.
Stanwick, a Notre Dame Prep graduate, set the Eagles single-season goals record last year with 65, while Rix has been second on the team in goals for two years. Stanwick and Rix have 77 of the Eagles' 183 points.
When the Terps travel to North Carolina next Saturday, they will be looking to avenge last year's national championship loss, a triple-overtime 13-12 game that is the longest in NCAA tournament history.
The Tar Heels boast the top scoring offense in the country, with 18.45 goals per game, while the Terps score 15.67. Both teams have balanced attacks. Each has eight players with 12 points or more, led by one player with 54 points, the Terps' Kelly McPartland and Carolina's Abbey Friend.
The Terps, who will have a week to prepare for the Tar Heels, have the edge in experience on attack in Brooke Griffin (South River), Taylor Cummings (McDonogh) and Beth Glaros (Wilde Lake). The Tar Heels have four freshmen among their top seven scorers while Maryland's top freshman Zoe Stukenberg (Marriotts Ridge) is fifth in scoring.
The Terps defense also comes out a little ahead of its next two opponents, allowing 6.83 goals to North Carolina's 8.64 and Boston College's 9.0.
Whatever happens in the next week, the teams will do it all over again April 24-27 at the ACC Tournament at Boston College.
Duke defender Taylor Virden (McDonogh) got her 100th career ground ball Saturday. … Defending Division I national champion North Carolina has won a program-record 15 straight games. … Before falling to Boston University on Saturday, Navy had a 15-game Patriot League winning streak, tying the longest run in conference history. … The Mids' Loren Generi continues to lead Division I in points per game with 6.1. Navy leads in scoring defense with 5.30 goals allowed per game; Johns Hopkins is third with 5.50. ... Division III No. 1 Salisbury has won a program-record 33 straight home games.