Three straight years, the Maryland field hockey team has taken an undefeated record into its regular season meeting with Wake Forest. Three straight years, the Demon Deacons have handed the Terps their first loss. And three straight years, Wake Forest has gone on to defeat Maryland again in the postseason and win the national championship. So if Wake Forest's No. 1 national ranking wasn't enough motivation for the No. 2 Terps entering today's showdown in College Park, those six losses provide additional incentive.

"It's been 10 months building up to this," said senior defender Emily Beach (Bethesda-Chevy Chase). "I think it's fair to say that we want revenge."

In 2002 Maryland was 7-0 before dropping a 2-1 overtime decision at Wake Forest. In 2003 the Terps won 10 straight before losing, 3-1, in front of more than 1,000 fans -- still the largest field hockey crowd at Maryland's new on-campus facility. Last year, Maryland started 9-0 but lost, 3-2, at Wake Forest.

"They've been dominant over the past three years," said Maryland Coach Missy Meharg, whose team is 10-0 for the third time. "For our players and the program, it's time."

Maryland midfielder Lauren Powley and Wake Forest's Lauren Crandall, Jamie Whitten and Michelle Kasold are playing for the U.S. team at the Junior World Cup in Chile. All will miss today's game, which starts at 1 p.m. Admission is free. . . . American (7-0), whose No. 4 ranking is the best in school history, hosts Longwood tomorrow at 1 p.m.

-- Dan Steinberg