Maryland women’s soccer can’t find its footing, draw with Saint Joseph’s

Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

In the 18th minute, Senior Alyssa Poarch found herself with the ball and a clear shot at the goal. 

She fired a fierce shot at the goal, which looked sure to find the netting. 

However, the shot struck the crossbar and was indicative of a frustrating day for Maryland that saw them dominate the possession and chances but draw 0-0 with Saint Joseph’s on a wet, swampy afternoon. 

The Terps finished with 12 shots compared to just three for Saint Joe’s. 

They also had nine corners, with the Hawks having only two. 

“We created enough to win the game, you know, but we’ll have to go back and clean things up a little bit,” Coach Meg Ryan Nemzer said. 

Maryland started off the first half with a barrage of attacks on St. Joe’s that produced several good looks. 

In the 13th minute, the Terps had two close chances in quick succession when Alyssa Poarch attempted a dangerous shot that was saved by the Hawks’ keeper, Katie Cappelletti, but kept in play.

The rebound led to a powerful shot by Juliana Lynch that was just wide. 

Minutes later, Lynch had another threatening opportunity when she received a beautiful cross from Amanda Schafer, which she promptly proceeded to sail over the net. 

Maryland once again put the Hawks’ defense in a panic in the 18th minute when they got their best look of the first half by way of Poarch’s walloping shot that hit the crossbar and shook the framework. 

Despite the enormous pressure that Saint Joseph’s had to absorb in the first half, they were surprisingly effective on the counter, getting into the penalty box and producing several near chances that had to be thwarted by the Terps’ defense. 

They were able to use these threatening counter-attacks to alleviate some of the pressure near their goal and give the defense some time to rest. 

Their most dangerous chance of the first half came from a piercing free kick that bounced in the box and had to be cleared off the goal line by the Maryland defense amid a mad scrum right in front of the net. 

The first half ended scoreless and left Maryland visibly frustrated by the Hawks’ scrappy, physical play. 

 The Terps attempted five shots in the first, with St. Joe’s attempting two. 

The second half saw Maryland continue their aggressive attacks on the offensive end, but Saint Joseph’s responded with more physicality. 

In the 60th minute, the Hawks’ goalkeeper came out and went to the ground, causing a bit of a scuffle for the ball that saw a Maryland player go down from contact.  

However, the ref ignored the Terps’ pleas for a penalty, followed by some audible frustration from the home crowd. 

“I feel like with the weather, you just kind of have to deal with the conditions you’re given; So when the referee calls the game like that, or when the ball doesn’t bounce your way, you just kind of deal with it,” Schafer said after the game. 

Schafer was a standout player for Maryland on the day on both sides of the ball.  

“Amanda is unbelievable. She’s definitely team over individual,” Nemzer said. 

In the 75th minute, she drove through the heart of St. Joe’s defense and had a powerful effort go just wide. 

As the second half went on, Maryland started to show some frustration while being unable to break down the tough St. Joe’s defense. The frustration culminated in an 81st-minute yellow card by Tahirah Turnage for a late tackle.  

The game ended scoreless in a frustrating outing by the Terps. 

They start Big Ten play this Friday at 7 pm against Michigan. 

“I told the team that this starts season two for us right now. So everyone has the same record going into the Big Ten,” Nemzer said. 

“There’s nothing more but to be excited. New season, new team, new opportunities. I just think that once we come into Friday, it’s going to be a show. We’re ready to show everyone what we’ve been working on,” defender Olivia Hicks said.