Consistently inconsistent. That has been the MO for the Terps this year. They were shut out four times in their first eight games but scored six goals in their last three. Indiana was third to last in the conference. Entering the game they had a record of 1-6-0. For the Terrapins coming off a 2-1 win against Purdue on Thursday, another positive result had the opportunity to launch them into the battle to finish in the top three in the conference.
What they got instead was a sluggish and uninspiring 0-0 tie. Maryland head coach Jonathan Morgan gave a blunt, honest and sobering assessment after the game, "Not a good result. Not at all...Don't think we came out motivated, inspired. Didn't represent the brand or the jersey very well today."
Morgan said that fell on him, "That's my responsibility, to get the players inspired to play. They weren't inspired to play today." Maryland has yet to win back to back conference games this season and this was one of their best chances to do so. Maryland is still clearly flummoxed by their offensive problems that have continually hampered them this season. Morgan said he didn't know why the team didn't come out and execute after spending a lot of time in practice working on it. Maryland only managed two shots on goal and one was a one on one between Shade Pratt and Indiana goalie Sarah Stone. Stone made the save and Maryland didn't get another clean look after that.
There were a couple of bright spots for the Terps however. Rachelle Beanlands recorded her fifth shutout of the season. That puts her in a tie for 9th place on the single-season record list. Erika Joab also made her first start of the season and played a great game throughout. Morgan praised her play, "She played great...She was dangerous. She deserved it and she proved that she deserved it."
While Indiana managed four shots on goal, none were very dangerous and Beanlands wasn't challenged on any of her four saves. The Terps didn't threaten in regulation but did have one dangerous chance in the second overtime.
Converted defender Shade Pratt playing at forward stole the ball from a Hoosier defender in the midfield. She played a simple give-and-go with junior Alex Doody to get behind the Indiana backline. Pratt used her speed to get into space. Hoosiers' goalkeeper Sarah Stone came far off of her line and the maneuver forced Pratt to rush her shot. Stone then got just enough of Pratt's shot to redirect the shot wide of the goal.
Maryland needs wins and they need them now. They play four of their next six games on the road, the last two coming against the top two teams in the Big Ten standings. When asked about the team's mentality going into the home stretch of the season, Morgan said, "I don't know how we're going to respond. We'll have to see. This group hasn't locked down their identity yet." Beanlands concurred, saying, "It's got to be a winning attitude. It's got to be a winning mentality. I think we are hungry and we just have to find it within ourselves to put teams away."
Maryland's identity crisis on offense has continued all season long. They need to come up with an answer and they need to do it quickly because they are running out of time. Maryland has a little over three weeks left in the regular season and if they want to make the NCAA Tournament, they will have to find their identity quickly and take advantage of any opportunities that present themselves.