Maryland women’s soccer looks to improve defense and sustain offense to capture elusive win

(Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics.)

Maryland Women’s Soccer plays their final home game of the season Sunday afternoon, as it hosts the 9-3-3 (3-2-2 B1G) Indiana Hoosiers. 

The Terps are still looking for their first win in Big Ten play this season after falling to 0-5-2 in conference play Thursday following their 5-2 loss to Rutgers. The loss extended their losing streak to 10 games. With only three games left in the season, the time for the Terps to end their season on a positive note is starting to run out. 

The first key to getting their first conference win in two seasons will be stepping up on defense. The Terps allowed ten goals over their last two games against Rutgers and Penn State. For a team that has yet to score more than three goals in a game this season, protecting the net is crucial.

“What I saw [on defense] was one on one, one on one, one on one,” head coach Ray Leone said, “it was never one on two, and you can’t defend players like that one on one all over the field.”

Despite the defensive struggles, the Terps showed encouraging offensive signs against Rutgers that they will look to carry over against Indiana. Midfielder Loren Sefcik became Maryland’s leading goal scorer of the season when she scored her third of the season and the first of Maryland’s two goals against Rutgers.

The two goals were the first time Maryland has scored multiple goals in a game since its last win on September 2. Midfielder Catherine DeRosa, Maryland’s other goal scorer in the Rutgers game, was encouraged by the offensive improvements. 

“It’s exciting, it just proves that we do have a lot of scoring chances and a lot of different players that can score.” DeRosa said “So just being able to put ourselves in the position in the frame of the goal and then able to execute. It is extremely exciting going into Indiana.”

The Terps will square off with another tough conference opponent in the Hoosiers who have only allowed eight goals in fourteen games this season. A big part of that is due to goalie Jamie Gerstenberg who is third in the NCAA with eight shutouts on the season. 

The Hoosiers are coming off their worst loss of the season after falling 3-0 to Penn State in their last game and will be looking to right the ship in a game they will be favored in. Despite their impressive 9-3-3 record however, the Hoosiers are only 2-2-2 on the road this season. 

The Terps final game in Ludwig Field this season kicks off at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.