Maryland women’s soccer falls to No. 9 Rutgers, 5-2, remain winless in Big Ten play

(Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics.)

In spite of the familiar venue, it was déjà vu for Maryland women’s soccer, as it allowed five goals for the second straight game in its 5-2 loss to No. 9 Rutgers on Thursday.

Rutgers forward Amirah Ali ran wild to start the game off, scoring the first goal of the game in the ninth minute, and then drawing a penalty from the Terps Anna Carazza in the box in the tenth minute. Becci Fluchel put the ensuing penalty kick behind Liz Brucia to make it 2-0 Scarlet Knights only ten minutes into the game.

However, the Terps would respond quickly when Mikayla Dayes sent a beautiful through ball to Loren Sefick who finished Maryland’s first real chance of the game in the thirteenth minute to keep the game close. 

Rutgers was unfazed though, it was only another three minutes before Fluchel scored her second goal of the game to give Rutgers their two goal lead back. Then the Terps committed their second box penalty of the game, which was followed by Rutgers’ second penalty kick goal of the game, this one from Allison Lowrey. 

Entering halftime with the score 4-1, the ball had been in Maryland’s defensive half for around 70% of the game and almost a quarter of Rutgers possession time was in the box. The Scarlet Knights also had seven more on target shots than the Terps at half. 

The second half started with more of the same, as a nice move and pass from Rutgers forward Riley Tiernan resulted in her second assist of the game. Tiernan’s pass to Frankie Tagliaferri promptly extended the lead to 5-1 in the 55th minute.

But the Terps would once again respond to a quick goal with a goal of their own in the 63rd when Toni Domingos sent a ball to Cathrine Derosa who put it in the back of the net to make it a 5-2 game. 

Rutgers’ scoring efforts eventually tapered off until the end of regulation and the Terps had no answer for the three-goal deficit. 

It was a struggle for the Terps defense against the fifth most prolific offense in the country, as Maryland’s goalkeepers were sprayed with shots the whole game, facing a resounding 26 shots. 

Maryland head coach Ray Leone commented on his thoughts on Brucia and goalkeeper Madeline Smith’s performance. “They did really well and I’m bummed for them because they really wanted to win tonight,” Leone said, “for Liz to have to deal with two [penalty kicks]… there’s nothing she can do about that.”

A brightside for the Terps came from their offense, which scored multiple goals in a game for the first time since September 2. 

“They were composed on their finishing there which is a great thing because they were relaxed,” Leone said, “they scored the goal and hit through the ball.”

The loss puts Maryland at 0-5-2 in Big Ten play this year.

”It would mean everything,” Derosa said of Maryland’s first win in conference play, “yeah we’re so close but we just haven’t been able to get that win. I have yet to have my first Big Ten win at Maryland so it would mean everything.”

The Terps will be back in action Sunday afternoon for their final home game of the season against Indiana.