In response to a question from HughGR about the NCAA chances for the sports I cover, my analysis of the women's soccer team concluded that while the Terps should make the tournament based in part on their strength of schedule, the final five games represent a critical stretch for the Terrapins. Last week's home loss to Duke dropped the Terps to 34th in RPI. They have only two games remaining against foes who sit above them in this important index. Thursday night the Terps started a three game road swing in Miami and came away with a critical 1-0 win.
Though the Hurricanes had fallen to sixty-third in RPI the win was important because Maryland travels to Tallahassee for their next game against seventh ranked and undefeated Florida State. The Terps should be well prepared for the rigors of a tough road test having already traveled to #1 UVA, #2 UNC, #13 Santa Clara, #15 Stanford, and #19 Notre Dame but though losing all five of those contests. While a Florida sweep would be difficult, a Florida split was almost imperative and the Terps assured themselves of no worse than that with their first win ever in Coral Gables.
Technical problems killed the video feed from Miami so the details I can provide are few. Neither team managed a shot on goal in the first half though Maryland held a 3-2 edge in corner kicks. The Terps broke through in the fifty-sixth minute with a goal from Ashley Spivey with the assist going to Megan Gibbons. In past post game interviews Maryland coach Jonathan Morgan spoke of the need for the Terps to find a second option to Haley Brock. After the Duke loss, Spivey was one of the players Morgan singled out for being, "dangerous, doing a great job holding the ball for us and allowing us to move forward." Perhaps she continued those efforts tonight and was rewarded with her fifth goal of the season.
Maryland's defense looks to have been quite solid as well. Miami failed to get a shot on goal until just over a minute remained to play in the game and Terrapin goalkeeper Rachelle Beanlands came up with the save. Since there was no excited Twitter about it, I'll assume the save was fairly routine. Beanlands picked up her fourth save on the season. Maryland now stands at 4-5-0 in the ACC and 8-7-0 overall. After Sunday's game in Tallahassee, the Terps travel to Syracuse for a Thursday night game before returning to College Park for the match with Boston College.