Maryland women’s soccer returns to Ludwig to host No. 9 Rutgers

(Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics.)

Maryland women’s soccer is back at Ludwig Stadium for the first time in almost three weeks.

With only four games left in the regular season, the Terps will be looking to get something going offensively against No. 9 Rutgers as they have been unable to capture a win since September 2. In the nine games since then, the Terps have only scored five total goals and have not had more than one in a game.

“We need more than just one or two opportunities, we need like seven, eight, nine, ten opportunities,” head coach Ray Leone said when asked about his team’s offensive output, “You’re trying to score, that’s what makes the game fun, that’s what gives your team energy”.

However, all is not hopeless. Despite being winless in their last nine games, six of those games resulted in either a tie or a one goal loss. Additionally, Maryland has historically been a tough opponent for Rutgers, including an upset win over the then No. 20 Scarlet Knights in 2019. 

Still, Rutgers is another brutal challenge for the Terps as they’ve struggled with a winless record in conference play. Led by the 22nd overall pick in the 2021 NWSL draft Amirah Ali, the 11-2 Scarlet Knights will be the overwhelming favorites heading into this contest. 

It will take an impressive upset for the Terps to win this game, but being rejuvenated in front of home fans for the first time in weeks and the motivation of playing a heavily favored conference rival could help wash away the discontent of this year’s tumultuous campaign. 

“Erase the previous set of games that we’ve played recently and just play the next play,” Leone said, “we’re a good team and we’re not showing how good we are.”