By Christopher Cox
The Maryland Terrapins opened their 2015 season with a 1-0 win Friday night at Ludwig Field over the Kent State Golden Flashes after sophomore Alex Anthony buried a penalty kick in the first half.
Thirty minutes in the Terps’ second season in the Big Ten, redshirt junior Gabby Galanti found space on the left side of the field and sped down to the goal but was tackled just inside the penalty box. Anthony stepped up to take the penalty kick and crushed the ball into the lower left corner of the goal to give Maryland the only goal they would need to earn the victory.
“My mind was pretty clear. I know my spot and I was pretty confident in what I was doing,” Anthony said.
Both teams were struggling to maintain solid possession from the first whistle, but Maryland’s forwards found a rhythm with senior Sarah Fichtner and the rest of the midfield and kept the pressure on Kent State’s backline the rest of the night. The Terps finished with 16 shots and held Kent State to five.
“It’s still our first game of the season and there’s still a learning curve … but I think that our midfielders started to understand the formation and so are we and it’s going to get a lot better,” Anthony said.
Shannon Collins, a senior who started all 18 games last season, led the defense in stopping many of Kent State’s offensive chances. Maryland’s pressure cover forced turnovers and the communication between players shut down the Golden Flashes. Senior goalkeeper Rachelle Beanlands made one save in the 90 minutes of play.
Two freshman, Cassie Phillips and Kady Badham, made their collegiate debuts for the Terps. Seconds after entering in the second half, Phillips had a chance to give her team a two-goal lead when she found a loose ball in front of the goal but took a shot that sailed high over the net.
Head coach Jonathan Morgan thinks both players will have an impact on the field. “[Phillips] has that knack to get herself in good spaces. She’s going to be a pretty important piece for us this year. Kady Badham has excellent pace but we’ve got to get her adjusted to the speed of this game, I think her head is still spinning a bit.”
The Terps will try to improve their play when they face a tough in-state competitor in the Navy Midshipmen Sunday night at Ludwig Field.