By Ivan Torres
Coming off back-to-back draws, Maryland women’s soccer was looking to get back in the win column against Ivy League foe Princeton.
It started off as a highly-contested match with both teams playing tight defense until Jlon Flippens crossed the ball perfectly over the middle of the Princeton defense, setting up Alyssa Poarch with a one-on-one with the goalie and the first goal of the game.
Poarch would get her second goal of the match — fourth of the season — in the 19th minute from a hard shot off her left foot, ultimately sealing the deal on the Terps’ 3-0 home win over the Tigers.
“We had a lot of emotion on our attack today especially since it was [Flippens’] first game back,” Poarch said, “so for her to play me that ball over the top and for me to finish it was a great experience.”
Despite the two-goal lead for the Terps, Princeton dominated possession. But the deciding factor was the Maryland backline. Though the Terps allowed Princeton to maintain the ball, they struggled to get the ball into the box. On the flip side, the Terps capitalized on their limited chances in the box.
“Getting out to a comfortable lead was important because it gives us room for error,” head coach Ray Leone said. “The last few games, we had no room for error and you see how those games turned out.”
The Tigers started the second half strong with multiple shots on goals, even hitting a couple of shots off the crossbar to no avail.
In the 81st minute, Emily McNesby buried the third goal of the game after a Flippens header to cap off the team’s fourth win of the season.
Flippens made her season debut today and made an immediate impact, finishing with two assists.
“It definitely was a surreal feeling and it gives me confidence for future games,” Flippen said.
Today’s victory marks the 300th for Leone, making him the 26th active Division I women’s soccer coach and only the second active Big Ten coach to reach the milestone.
“It’s hard to explain the feeling because it’s not about me,” Leone said. “It’s about all of the girls I have coached. I wouldn’t be here without any of them.”
The Terps start Big Ten play Friday with a home game against No. 22 Wisconsin, looking to remain undefeated at home.