Terps inexperienced defense continues to struggle in loss to Ohio State

By: Joe Catapano

By the time fans settled into their seats Thursday night at Ludwig Field, the Maryland women’s soccer team already found itself down two goals against Ohio State. Katelyn Jensen started in goal for the Terrapins after a brief one game hiatus, but let in two goals in the first five minutes. Maryland went on to lose its fourth straight game, 4-0.

Ohio State forward Lindsay Agnew slipped behind the Terrapins defense in the third minute and sneaked a rebounded shot past Jensen for her ninth goal of the year. Less than 90 seconds later, the Buckeyes scored on another rebound. Emma Firenze collected an attempted clearance by Maryland off of a corner and fired a shot into the top right corner of the net. Jensen barely had time to move.

“We got a young team so we’re making mistakes and they’re ending up being in the goal every time,” head coach Ray Leone said after the game.

Tonight’s performance was just the third time this year the Terrapins failed to find the back of the net, despite 10 shots. Last season, Maryland was held scoreless in eight matches.

The best Maryland scoring chance came in the 31st minute off of a Jlon Flippens free kick. Flippens played a hard, low cross into the box where the ball hit an Ohio State defender and ricocheted off the post.

“Our attitude is always to come back one goal at a time but I think it’s hard,” midfielder Madison Turner said. “It’s not easy coming back when you’re down.”

Maryland’s back line continued to struggle, specifically with marking attackers. Both second-half goals by the Buckeyes were a result of a wide-open attacker. Sammy Edwards scored both of those goals after being left completely alone at the back post, letting her easily tap the ball into the back of the net for her second and third goals of the season.

“The communication to mark up needs to be a lot better,” freshman defender Niven Hegeman said, adding that the defense needs to get more comfortable as a unit.

Maryland has two full days to learn from its mistakes before the Nittany Lions come to College Park on Sunday. The Terrapins (3-10-1, 1-5 Big Ten) will take on No. 13 Penn State (8-2-3, 4-0-2 Big Ten) at 1 p.m.

Leone spent a good 10 minutes with his team in a huddle after the loss Thursday night. When asked what his messages was, he only responded with two words: “Stick together.”

Maryland has two days to let that message sink in before they take on the defending national champions.



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