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|14-1 (4-0 B1G)
||15-0 (4-0 B1G)|
GAME DAY CENTRAL
TV: Big Ten Network
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
|44-127||Free Position Shots||59-128|
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The fifth-ranked Penn State women’s lacrosse team hosts the No. 1 ranked Maryland Terrapins in primetime on Thursday night with a chance to clinch at least a share of their first-ever Big Ten regular season championship.
The game will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network at 7 p.m. and will also be available on BTN2Go.
- Penn State and Maryland will meet for the 54th time on Thursday with the Terrapins holding a 38-14-1 advantage.
- Maryland is Penn State’s most frequent opponent in women’s lacrosse as the two teams have played every season since 1973.
- The Terps have won the last 11 meetings and 27 of the last 28 dating back to 1992.
- Last season Penn State took the 8-7 lead with just 10:27 to play after three consecutive goals, but Maryland used a 3-1 run to close the game and secure the one-goal victory, 10-9.
LAST TIME OUT
- The Nittany Lions used a 10-1 run bridging the first and second half to erase and five-goal deficit and open up a 12-8 lead, ultimately hanging on down the stretch to secure the 14-13 victory on the road against No. 16 Northwestern.
- Junior Katie O’Donnell ripped in five goals while sophomore Kelly Daggett had a career-high four goals and six points including three straight goals in just 2:08 to open the second half. Sophomore Madison Carter added three goals giving her 11 games with three or more goals this season and extending her goal streak to 23 games.
- Senior goalkeeper Cat Rainone stopped 11 shots for her third consecutive game with 10-plus saves and fourth on the season.
- For the third time in the first three seasons of the Big Ten, the winner of this contest will secure at least a share of the Big Ten regular season championship. Maryland has captured the previous two regular season titles in 2015 and 2016.
- With a Penn State victory, the Nittany Lions will clinch the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten tournament and with a win over Maryland and a win next Sunday at Michigan, PSU will be the outright Big Ten regular season champion with a perfect 6-0 record in conference play.
LOOKING TO SHOCK THE WORLD
- The Nittany Lions will look for their first win over a top-ranked opponent since March 19, 2005. The 2005 season was special as Penn State beat two No. 1 teams that year: Virginia (March 11) and Princeton (March 19), before falling to its third No. 1 foe, Northwestern (April 15). PSU rose as high as No. 2 in the nation that season.
KNOCK OUT (KO) PUNCH
- Junior Katie O’Donnell has been the epitome of consistency this season for Penn State as she has recorded at least one goal in all 15 games and has 10 multi-goal games.
- O’Donnell also has 21 goals this season against ranked opponents to lead the team including nine goals over the last two games with four against No. 15 Virginia and five against No. 16 Northwestern. The five goals tie a career-high and mark the second time this season the junior has scored five.
- O’Donnell currently ranks third in the Big Ten with her 42 goals on the season.
- This contest features the top two offenses in the Big Ten as Penn State averages 14.53 goals per game only trailing the 16.87 of Maryland.
- The Nittany Lions also rank second to the Terrapins in shots per game (32.9), assists per game (6.2), points per game (20.7) and shot percentage (.441).
- Maryland leads the Big Ten with 253 goals, just two shy of Florida’s 255 for the national lead while Penn State ranks second in the conference and 10th in the nation with 218.
SCOUTING THE TERRAPINS
- Maryland is the only remaining unbeaten team in Division I and the second highest scoring team in the nation averaging 16.87 goals per contest only trailing the 17 goals per game of Florida.
- The Terps also possess the best defense in the Big Ten and rank 12th in the nation only allowing 8.67 goals against per contest through the first 15 games of the season.
- The Terrapins also control the ball extremely well as they are the best team in the nation in maintaining possession averaging just 12.73 turnovers per game.
- Maryland leads the Big Ten and rank fifth in the nation in shots per game with 35.60 and 26.93 of those are on target to rank fourth in the nation.
- Megan Whittle is second in the Big Ten with her 50 goals, which rank ninth in the nation while Zoe Stukenberg ranks seventh in the conference with 34 goals.
- Maryland has six players with at least 20 goals this season and eight players in double figures.
- The Terps also pace the Big Ten with 6.5 assists per game led by Caroline Wannen and Jen Giles with 25 and 20, respectively.
- A strong defense is led by a strong goalie and Megan Taylor leads the entire nation with a .578 save percentage while her 141 saves rank 13th and her 8.50 goals against average place her 11th in the nation and tops in the Big Ten.
Penn State closes out the regular season with a trip to Ann Arbor on Sunday April 30 for an 11 a.m. affair with the Wolverines.