Maryland women’s soccer loses close game against Northwestern

(Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics.)

The Terps lost their second consecutive game on Sunday, losing 1-0 to Northwestern in Evanston.

Maryland welcomed back last season’s top scorer, redshirt junior forward Alyssa Poarch, to the starting lineup. While she couldn’t help the Terps score today, head coach Ray Leone was excited for her return.

“It was just exciting,” Leone said. “She was excited to play, and her fitness was fantastic. She hasn’t played yet, so she’s worked very hard on her fitness while she’s trying to get back out there. This was a great first game for her.”

Northwestern controlled the game early, but Maryland had its best chance of the first half in the 34th minute. After a miscommunication between Northwestern defenders, senior forward Mikayla Dayes got in behind but had her shot blocked by sophomore defender Danika Austin. 

Northwestern had the ball in the back of the net in the 41st minute, but senior midfielder Regan Steigleder was flagged for offside.

It remained scoreless at halftime, with the Terps failing to register a single shot on target in the first half.

The Wildcats scored what would end up being the game-winning goal in the 59th minute. Junior midfielder Chloe McGhee whipped a cross into the back post, which was knocked down by freshman midfielder Josie Aulicino and tapped in by junior forward Olivia Stone.

Maryland registered its only two shots on goal in the entire game on back-to-back attempts in the 72nd minute, but sophomore forward Keyera Wynn saw both her shots saved by Northwestern’s goalkeeper Mackenzie Wood.

Despite being up, Northwestern looked most likely to score in the last 15 minutes, with Stone and Steigleder forcing Maryland’s redshirt freshman goalkeeper Kennedy Tolson into two very good saves. 

Tolson started the second half for the first time all season after only starting the first half of the previous two games, before being subbed out at halftime for sophomore Nicole Kwocza in both. Leone was very complimentary of her performance.

“Her drop kicks are really lethal,” Leone said. “Our goalkeepers are all very good, so you could choose any one of them, but Kennedy did very well for herself today. She got down and made some really great saves.”

The Wildcats saw the game out and notched their first victory over the Terrapins since 2017.

“We played very well in possession and defended much better,” Leone said. “It was a good performance.”

Maryland will now return home to play Ohio State on March 4 at Ludwig Field, the beginning of a run of five  games at home for the Terps, in which they’ll hope to find their first win of the season.

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