The Maryland Terrapins women's soccer team traveled to Columbus to tackle the Ohio State Buckeyes Saturday night. The After Minnesota defeated Nebraska Thursday night, Maryland needed a win to move them into the top half of the conference standings. The Terps came up short managing a 1-1 tie with the Buckeyes
First half - falling behind
For much of the season, the Terps have started slowly seemingly content to possess the ball and feel out the opposition's strategy. They altered that pattern a bit against the Buckeyes. Although Ohio State managed the first shot it went well wide and it was Maryland that developed the first dangerous chance. It came late in the tenth minute when Amanda Gerlitz served the ball in to Shade Pratt in the box. However, Buckeyes goalkeeper Megan Geldernick safely punched Pratt's shot out.
Maryland had another chance in the 14th minute on the game's first corner kick. Riley Barger played an excellent service drawing Geldernick far off her line but OSU's defense collapsed on Shannon Collins and blocked the shot. A few minutes later Pratt once again created some danger but once again, the Buckeye's defense was up to the task.
After this flurry, the game settled in to a battle of possession in the midfield for the next 15 minutes or so. The home team finally probed their way into a shot from the top of the box that Maryland keeper Rachelle Beanlands handled by deflecting over the back line. The Buckeyes failed to capitalize on their first corner kick.
Maryland picked up two corner kicks in the 36th minute but Ohio State handled them both. Over the final ten minutes of the half, OSU became the much more aggressive squad and eventually took advantage of a Terrapins defensive miscue. In the 43rd minute, Nichelle Prince tracked down a long through ball from Ellyn Gruber and was able to get behind not only Maryland's defense but also behind Beanlands and knocked the ball into the open goal from six yards. The Buckeyes took the 1-0 lead into halftime.
Second half - Getting the equalizer
As they had in the first half, Ohio state managed the first shot However, it would be Maryland who found the net. The Terps got the equalizer in the 50th minute. Ohio State's scorer rang it up as an own goal. Maryland's Twitter feed indicated that Pratt and Natasha Ntone-Kouo ran a give and go with Pratt finishing. Regardless of the official scoring decision, the official score was one all.
With the score tied, the Buckeyes kept the Terps a bit on their heels over the ensuing 30 minutes. Although Cory Ryan got a shot off in the 70th minute, Maryland's only real threat came from a corner kick in the 63rd minute. Meanwhile, the Buckeyes picked up four shots and two corner kicks while forcing Beanlands into three saves.
The Terrapins had an opportunity to edge in front late in the half. As had been the case much of the night, Shade Pratt generated the danger. Pratt took a throw in from Collins and launched a hard shot that Geldernick managed to deflect out. Playing with some urgency, the Terps picked up two corner kicks in the 89th minute and Cory Ryan had a chance from close in to get the game winner but (and once again the OSU statistics differ from Maryland's Twitter account) either Geldernick picked up the save (official account) or Ryan was robbed by the crossbar (Twitter feed). Regardless, for the second straight game, the Terps were headed to overtime where they had a 0-1-3 record for the season.
The Buckeyes made it three for three in the 93rd minute when they took the first shot of the period. As with the other two, the shot went harmlessly past the goal. First half goal scorer Nichelle Prince would come back with the second shot of the first overtime in the 97th minute but pushed it wide left.
Maryland countered and managed two shots of their own in the 99th minute the first by Riley Barger and the second by Cory Ryan. Neither challenged Geldernick and the squads headed to overtime number two.
In their effort to make it four straight periods with the first shot, the Buckeyes attacked early but were twice whistled for being offside. The Terrapins' Sarah Fichtner took the first shot of the period but her left footer from 25 yards out on the right wing stayed wide right.
After much inactivity on Twitter and the stat feed, the match came down to one final chance for Maryland on a corner kick with 30 seconds left to play. Barger had the service but the Terps failed to manufacture a shot and Maryland once again lost an opportunity for points against a team in the bottom third of the conference standings. The single point earned as a result of the tie places Maryland in (you guessed it) a tie for seventh place in the conference with Illinois. Both teams have 12 points.
The Terps will host Illinois on Sunday, October 17th. Before that, however, the Northwestern Wildcats will visit College Park on Friday night.