Maryland ended their regular season in defeat on Sunday, losing to the Indiana Hoosiers 2-0 to finish what has been a daunting season for the Terps.
It was senior day at Ludwig Field, with the Terps’ seven seniors being honored pregame.
Maryland came out of the gate with more energy than they have since conference play began, playing with much more speed and putting pressure on the Hoosiers’ back line.
Indiana had some chances early, but Maryland’s back line held their own very nicely and Liz Beardsley continued her excellent form with multiple saves.
Unfortunately for Maryland, Indiana flipped the script early off a well-executed counterattack.
The Hoosiers’ leading scorer Paige Webber got behind the Terps’ defense off a pass from senior midfielder Anna Bennett, and was able to run down the field and send a ground ball shot at a nice angle past the gloves of Liz Beardsley to give the Hoosiers the early lead an Webber her twelfth goal of the year.
Webber’s seventeenth-minute goal was another goal Maryland has conceded inside the first twenty minutes of play this season. A difficult stat for the Terps who have been unable to find a solution to the problem.
“I think we got to look at how do we keep possession better..” said Meghan Ryan Nemzer, “I think maturity helps with that.”
Indiana did not stop the pressure after their first goal, keeping possession and taking multiple shots on Maryland.
However, the Hoosiers couldn’t double their lead thanks to blocks from Maryland defenders and more impressive saves from Liz Beardsley.
The early parts of the second half was much of the same, with Indiana pressuring Maryland’s defense and keeping the ball in their attacking third.
Anna Bennett nearly added a goal to her tally when her strike from the left side of the box hit the right post and went out of bounds.
It was a near Not Top 10 moment for Beardsley, who let the ball go as she thought the shot was more off target than it actually was.
Peyton Bernard nearly gave Maryland the lead in the fifty-first minute, when her strike from dead center just outside the box just barely went over the crossbar.
Maryland got lucky again in the fifty-eighth minute, when Paige Webber intercepted a pass, sprinted downfield, and had herself a 1v1 with Liz Beardsley. To Maryland’s relief, Webber’s shot went wide right and the game remained at 1-0.
Maryland’s luck ran out in the sixty-seventh minute. Anna Bennett’s perfectly placed cross off a free kick landed at the feet of senior midfielder Sofia Black, who tapped the ball past Beardsley to double the Hoosier lead.
Maryland was unable to get much going on offense for the rest of the second half, not creating many chances aside from a couple of low-risk shots.
And as the final whistle blew, Maryland officially went winless and goalless in the Big Ten season, a disheartening stat that the program will have to put behind them going into next season.
Despite not having the season the Terps would have liked to have, Coach Nemzer is still optimistic about the future of the program, especially the freshman class from this year.
“What I’m excited about is that they all love the game, and that’s what we talked about”, said Coach Nemzer postgame. “I’m excited to get a full spring season and develop them all and I’m excited about where they are now but even more excited about where their growth is.”
Coach Nemzer will look to use this freshman class and her other returning players to build the program and bring Maryland Women’s Soccer into Big Ten and national tournament contention.