Maryland women’s soccer plays strong defensively, battles Indiana to draw

(Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics.)

This game featured constant swings in momentum, yet the contest ended with both sides tied at zero. Maryland women’s soccer ended their losing skid on Sunday and tied with theIndiana Hoosiers, 0-0, in its final game at Ludwig field this season. 

Even without a score, it was one of the best performances the Terps have put in all season and head coach Ray Leone was quick to praise his team for it. 

“It was their best game of the year against the opponent of that level. We came out flying, and  we did the whole game, I think it was some moments where it was going against us for sure we absorbed it. And then responded.”

The game started slow with Indiana dominating possession in the early going, without generating any real chances. Three of their first five shots were blocked before they reached the net and only one shot from either team was on target. 

The best chance of the early going for the Terps came in the 29th minute when senior forward Emily McNesby sent a through ball to freshman forward Toni Domingos. The ensuing shot was just outside the near post.  

The Terps turned the tide in the later parts of the second half after the Domingos chance and began putting more pressure on the Hoosiers in the last fifteen minutes of the half. Maryland outplayed Indiana in this stretch after being on the defensive for much of the opening minutes.

The half closed with a Loren Sefcik shot from around 40 yards out hitting the crossbar. 

In the second half it was Maryland’s turn to start out strong and control the majority of possession out the gate.

Terps forward Mikayla Dayes almost made an incredible play stealing the ball and avoiding multiple defenders before putting the shot just over the crossbar. 

However, the Hoosiers would retake the momentum off of two very close chances. First defender Oliwia Wos put a 25 yard free kick off the left corner of the crossbar.

This was followed by a throw-in cross that drew Maryland goalie Madeline Smith off the goal. Terps defender Adalee Broadbent stopped the second shot at the goaline in what was the biggest chance of the game by far to that point. 

From that point on the two teams played each other evenly throughout the rest of the second half. The Terps were unable to keep up the pressure they put on the Hoosiers to end the first half and start the second. But the Hoosiers did little to capitalize on the Terps slowing down. 

The Terps thus entered their fifth overtime after a scoreless 90 minutes. Their first four overtimes ended in draws and Sunday’s was no different. 

The second overtime period was mostly back and forth between the two sides. However it was the Terps turn to have a close chance in the final minute as Domingos made her way in front of the goal but her shot was cleared at the goal line. The final whistle blew seconds later.

Coming off allowing ten goals in their previous two games, the Terps defense and goalkeepers turned in a stellar performance playing their first shutout since September 23. 

“Oh my goodness, they were absolutely remarkable,” Leone said of the keepers. “… It was a spectacular tandem performance today for the goalkeepers.”

Junior Maryland defender Olivia Hicks was looking to keep the newfound defensive momentum going into the final two games.

“We’ve been struggling a little bit and this game definitely is going to give us a boost to go into this five day trip to Michigan, so hopefully we can carry from this game on to the next level.”

With its four game losing streak snapped, Maryland (4-7-5, 0-5-3 B1G) will now prepare for a two game road trip against Michigan State and Michigan to end the regular seaso.