UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond opens its 2013 season at home against No. 4 Maryland Sunday at 1 p.m. at Robins Stadium.
The Terps were ranked preseason No. 4 nationally and return nine starters from their ACC Championship team. Maryland went to the NCAA Final Four for the fourth-straight season. Maryland returns the talents of Alex Aust and Katie Schwarzmann who led the Terp offense in 2012. Aust led Maryland in assists (52) and points (96), while Schwarzmann earned the sport's top honor, winning the Tewaaraton Award after a standout junior campaign. The Terp defense returns IWLCA National Defender of the Year Iliana Sanza.
The Spiders also return nine starters from last year's 10-8 squad, including top performer, senior captain Caitlin Fifield. Fifield scored 60 goals and recorded a team-best 80 points in 2012. Assisting Fifield in the attack is All Conference second team selection Kara Moschetti and All-Rookie honoree Emily Doyle. Doyle tallied 31 assists in 2012, and set a single-game record for assists in a game with seven in a win over Temple. Sam Stevenson returns to spearhead the midfield unit. Stevenson scored 55 goals last season and is just two scores shy of 100 for her career. Senior captain Tara Coyle will lead the experienced defensive unit. All-Conference second-team selection Taylor Blazer returns to support the defense after being sidelined with an injury last season. Blazer grabbed 31 ground balls, 12 draw controls and caused six turnovers before getting hurt. Richmond welcomes seven newcomers to this year's lineup.
Maryland won last year's meeting, 19-8, last year in College Park. The Spiders are 0-15 against the Terps all-time.
Richmond travels to North Carolina for a two-game road swing at No. 7 Duke Friday, Feb. 15 and No. 5 UNC Sunday, Feb. 17.