Maryland women’s soccer drops third straight game 2-0 at Wisconsin

(Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics.)

Two early goals from Wisconsin (5-3-1 B1G) downed Maryland (0-7-2 B1G) in Madison on Thursday, with the Terps going on to lose the game 2-0. Maryland has now lost its last three games, and remains winless all-time against Wisconsin.

Maryland head coach Ray Leone started a young line up against Wisconsin, including six freshmen and nine changes from the overtime loss against Iowa on Sunday looking to provide a spark.

“The fatigue level is high, a lot of overtimes, a lot of mileage,” Leone said. “We really used this as an opportunity to give a lot of young players their first Big Ten start, first Big Ten experience against last year’s champions, and it was worth it.” 

The Badgers took an early lead in the 7th minute when sophomore midfielder/forward Emma Jaskaniec vollied in senior midfielder Maia Cella’s cross.

Wisconsin quickly doubled its lead early after senior forward Cameron Murtha’s header from senior midfielder/forward Lauren Rice’s cross found the back of the net.

Once again the Terps found themselves in an early deficit, which has been a common thread this season.

“This one was the inexperience,” Leone said. “There was a mistake, and then a good team like this, do not miss. So, you make a mistake, they get in line they serve it, they finish it, and that’s it.”

Maryland’s only chance of the half came in the 35th minute after freshman defender Milan Pierre-Jerome intercepted a Wisconsin pass before playing a through ball to senior forward Mikayla Dayes. Dayes got in behind the defense, but her shot was saved by redshirt senior goalkeeper Jordyn Bloomer.

A pair of early goals from Wisconsin gave the Badgers a two-goal lead at halftime. Maryland was only able to register one shot in the first half.

Maryland had a huge chance to get back in the game in the 64th minute after Mikayla Dayes once again got in behind Wisconsin’s defense after intercepting a poor backpass. She wasn’t able to convert however, as her shot was straight at Bloomer, who made the save.

Mikayla Dayes came close yet again in the 82nd minute after beating multiple Wisconsin defenders, however, her shot from 12 yards out went just over the bar.

The game ended 2-0, and despite a decent second half performance, including six shots and four shots on target, Maryland was unable to end its scoring drought. 

The Terps have now gone four games and 396 minutes without scoring, with its last goal coming from sophomore forward Keyera Wynn in the 82nd minute of a 3-2 loss to Indiana.

“Today we had some good chances, probably the best chances we’ve had in a while,” Leone said. “Part of it is fatigue, so we’ve got to get fresher and continue to work on the finishing. We were doing that leading into these couple of games but… at least this time we presented and created some opportunities so I think that is encouraging. Now we’ll just grab a couple days to recover and see if we can do even better against Minnesota.”

Freshman goalkeeper Krista Varrichione made her first appearance, starting and playing the full 90 minutes while making three saves, impressing in her debut.

“She was great,” Leone said. “The first serve that was in the box there was like a million people in there and you could barely see her, and then all of the sudden she came out with the ball and everybody was excited for it. She’s got a big personality, and I think it really lifted and gave a lot of energy.”

Maryland remains at the bottom of the Big Ten standings after its third straight loss. Despite the loss, Leone was pleased with the team’s improved performance.

“We played much better than we did against Iowa and so we felt like we got our game back today,” Leone said. “We’re keeping the ball decently, defending decently, we just got to get our legs back so that we can really give it everything we got. Today was a great start in the right direction.”

Maryland will round out its regular season with away games at Minnesota and Penn State, before the Big Ten Wildcard Weekend, which is scheduled to begin on April 8.