It'll be a battle of the best this afternoon when the nation's top two women's lacrosse teams square off at Ohiri Field.
The first place Crimson (7-0 overall, 2-0 Ivy) plays host to the second place Maryland Terrapins (6-0 overall) in what could be a preview of NCAA championship.
Two years ago, Harvard edged the Terrapins 8-7 for the national title at Princeton's Palmer Stadium. Last year, Maryland took the regular season contest between the two clubs, 6-5, in double overtime.
It'll be a grudge match-to say the least.
"I think it should be a very good game," Coach Carole Kleinfelder said. "I predict a close game. Our goalies are about the same-but I think we have a little more speed."
Maryland began this year's campaign having lost several strong players to graduation. Accordingly, Kleinfelder expects to find a different brand of Maryland lacrosse this time around.
"They usually play a passing game." Kleinfelder said, "but I do expect a different style."
Up to now, the Terrapins have been sparked by the youth on their squad. Freshman Laura Harmon and sophomore Betsy Elder lead the team in points scored with 17 and 16, respectively.
But Kleinfelder is still undecided as to which player, if any, defensive specialist Ceci Clark will mark.
If the crimson defense continues to turn in stellar performances--such as the previous one against Yale--shutting down the Terrapin attack will be no problem.
The Yale game "was the best I've seen [the defense] play," Kleinfelder said. "They played well against what they had coming against them"
Offensively, Crimson prospects are only getting brighter.
While junior Liz Berkery continues to lead the nation in scoring, she no longer garners her usual six goals per game.