Maryland women’s soccer loses fourth straight at Minnesota

(Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics.)

Minnesota (5-3-2 B1G) defeated Maryland (0-8-2 B1G) 1-0 today in Minneapolis. The loss is Maryland’s fourth in row, and the Terps have now gone goalless in each of their last five contests.

Minnesota struck early in the 3rd minute, after a long lobbed through ball from sophomore midfielder Katie Duong found junior forward McKenna Buisman. Buisman brought the ball down nicely and finished past Maryland’s freshman goalkeeper Krista Varrichione to give the Gophers an early lead. 

For the fourth consecutive game, Maryland conceded the first goal, which has been an obstacle for them throughout this season.

“We’re trying to overcome this mental obstacle that we’ve recently had happen to us,” head coach Ray Leone said. “It’s not good, but again, a lot of teams in this situation would have cracked and let up more and more but they have not. That’s what I keep saying, I’m going to concentrate on the positive with this team, they are such a fighting team.

The Gophers had another huge chance in the 31st minute, after another long ball from Duong found senior forward Makenzie Langdok. Langdok brought the ball down and had a shot from ten yards out, but Varrichione made a good save to keep the Gophers lead at one.

Minnesota took a 1-0 lead into halftime, and were on the front foot for most of the half. The Gophers notched ten shots in the first half, including six on target. Maryland was only able to manage two shots in the first half.

Maryland had the ball in the back of the net in the 73rd minute after a through ball from redshirt junior forward Alyssa Poarch found senior forward Mikayla Dayes, however, Dayes was flagged for a tight offside.

The Terps were able to create a few chances in the second half, however were unable to convert and went on to lose 1-0 to Minnesota. 

The loss marks the fourth straight for Maryland, who are still winless and rooted to the bottom of the Big Ten standings with only two points. The Terps have now failed to score in five games and 486 minutes of play, looking to improve in the attacking third.

“We need more composure at the end,” Leone said. “I know it sounds like a broken record but I think we’re serving it too early, we got to get further to the end line and really hit our runners.”

Despite another loss, Leone praised his team’s effort and performance in another game in which the Terps were feeling the brunt of fatigue and multiple injuries.

“The effort of this team today is really remarkable,” Leone said. “What we have been through, we started our ninth different backline in ten games [today], and they’re keeping a very good Minnesota team at bay… I’m as competitive a person you’ll ever meet, but I also recognize that they’re giving everything humanly possible, and they played some really good soccer today. It’s really extraordinary the number of people that are sitting at home or not playing that are full time starters for us is unbelievable. That just shows that every single player has got a lot in them.”

Maryland will end its regular season at No. 9 Penn State on Saturday, who clinched the Big Ten title earlier today with a 3-0 win at Nebraska. 

The Terps’ season will conclude with Big Ten Wildcard Weekend, which is scheduled to begin on April 8. According to a statement put out by the Big Ten, the format of Wild Card Weekend and the Big Ten Tournament itself, including sites, matchups, and television coverage will be announced in the coming days.

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