By Borja Rebaza
The Maryland Terrapins women’s soccer team fell to the Minnesota Golden Gophers and their high-powered offense 3-1 on Sunday, as it starts to get into the middle of its Big Ten schedule.
Maryland came into Sunday’s game after an impressive draw with No. 12 Wisconsin on Friday afternoon, which brought its record to 7-2-2.
Meanwhile Minnesota boasted a 6-2-3 record, coming in off of two consecutive Big Ten wins against Michigan St and Rutgers.
Despite the impressive start, the story for the Terps this season has been that of injuries. With several key players already out for the season, Ray Leone had to deal with one of his top defenders, Jlon Flippens, being out with an illness. The team did get some good news on the injury front, as Jarena Harmon came back after she was out for two weeks.
Many Minnesota fans traveled to College Park to see their team play, and the team gave them something to cheer about early. The Golden Gophers came in known for their prolific offense, and in the first 15 minutes, they lived up to their reputation. The breakthrough came only six minutes into the game when a Molly Fiedler shot went off the crossbar and crossed the line for the Golden Gopher goal. The offensive onslaught continued only five minutes later, when Megan Koenig blasted a shot past Egyed to double the lead.
Going down two goals in the first half in two straight games certainly did not please Ray Leone, but true to the Terps resilience they have shown throughout the season, they responded right away, as only two minutes later Madison Turner took a loose at the top of the box and placed past the Minnesota keeper.
Both teams fell into a stalemate after the early scoring spurt, with the sides trading half chances for the rest of the first session. Maryland hoped that it would be able to push forward for an equalizer after halftime.
“We had the momentum at the beginning of the second half, you could tell we were putting them under pressure” goalscorer Madison Turner said after the game.
The second half brought more of the same, with the best chance early into the half came off a Darby Moore shot just wide of the top corner. This all changed with 23 minutes left, when April Bockin controlled a ball over the top, then turned and burned the Maryland defender, sliding the ball into the side netting, to put the Gophers back up two goals.
Minnesota held on from there, with Maryland’s best chances at a comeback being squandered when a corner rolled in front of the net without a Terp putting a foot on it, combined with a few great saves from keeper Kailee Sharp.
The early goals were enough to hold the lead, as the Gophers left Ludwig Field with a big conference win.
“I was proud of the fight,” Leone said, “but you can’t go down two goals in a game like that.”
The Terrapins will look to rebound on Thursday as they travel to Nebraska.