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Terps dominate play against Navy in Annapolis but only manage 1-1 draw

Despite having lost eight straight to Maryland, the Terps' women's soccer team faced a confident Navy squad coming off a 1-0 win at 24th ranked James Madison. The Middies and Maryland played to a 1-1 tie in Navy's home opener.

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Maryland's women's soccer team took the field at the Glenn Warner Soccer Complex on the campus of the U.S. Naval Academy looking to extend their two game winning streak. The Midshipmen, playing in their home opener and looking to extend a two game streak of their own, had other ideas. Though the Terrapins clearly had the better of the run of play, the teams fought to a 1-1 tie.

The teams took the field with a stiff breeze blowing along the Severn River and the Terps played with the wind at their backs for the first half. The game opened somewhat conservatively with neither team developing any real chances for the first seven minutes or so. Sarah Fichtner played a long ball down the right side for Shade Pratt and the continued pressure led to the first corner kick of the game in the ninth minute. Maryland played a short corner and, in a play that came to typify the Terrapins's fortunes and decisions for the game, opened space for a header by Maisie McCune that hit the crossbar.

In the eleventh minute, Maryland countered after a Navy free kick in the offensive half. Aubrey Baker played a through ball to Alex Doody who got behind Navy's defense and found herself one on one approaching the penalty spot and Navy goalkeeper Dayton Weatherby. Weatherby came off her line and Doody placed the shot directly into the arms of the sliding keeper. The ball squirted out to the left and Pratt picked up the rebound but last season's Patriot League Defender of the Year Jade Seabrook intervened and stopped another Terrapins' opportunity.

Navy won their first corner in the thirteenth minute and Maryland headed the ball toward the left corner of the box. The Mids kept the ball in play and a bit of chaos ensued in the center of the box before Beanlands punched the ball safely out of harm's way.

Shade Pratt who was consistently dangerous throughout the half made a strong play on the baseline to create Maryland's second corner kick of the game but the Terps failed to take advantage. In the nineteenth minute, Baker attacked deep down the left side. Seabrook deflected the centering pass but it landed right at the feet of McCune who took a shot in space from about 23 yards but it curled well wide.

It was Pratt again in the twenty-third minute. The senior took a long pass from Fichtner and made a strong run in space down the right side. She worked her was past Seabrook and had a look from the corner of the six yard box but Weatherby again got enough of the ball to allow Julie Schumacher to clear the ball over the sideline.

In the twenty-ninth minute, Maryland had another golden chance to break the zero - zero tie. This time it was Fichtner who started the attack getting past her defender down the right side. Navy's Schumacher headed away her cross but it landed at the feet of Aubrey Baker. She took a dribble toward the middle and launched a shot from 15 yards but Seabrook intervened. The carom came to Doody and the Navy senior reacted quickly to block Doody's shot from 12 yards. McCune intercepted the attempted clear but also couldn't get her shot through the Middies' defense.

If it appears I've omitted any mention of offensive pressure by Navy, other than the one corner kick, there really was none. Until the thirty-fourth minute, that is. After an errant Terps pass led to a Navy throw in in the offensive half, Maryland challenged by didn't clear. Schumacher played a cross from the right side that may have been slightly deflected by Meghan Hegarty. Deflected or not, the ball landed at the feet of Rachel Hunter who turned quickly and lifted a shot from 17 yards that got past Beanlands into the upper right ninety. Such is the game of soccer. Despite having been dominated for 34 minutes, it was the home team that took the 1-0 lead. Hunter's goal was her first in nearly two years and the first goal the Midshipmen had ever scored in three games against Beanlands.

Pratt's run down the middle with just over three minutes to play in the half led to fourth corner kick of the half in spite of her going against three Nave defenders. Lauren Berman, returning to the field for the first time in three games served the ball in from the right side. Navy's defense headed the serve but couldn't clear successfully as Madison Turner kept the ball in the box. Navy attempted another clear but the ball came to rest at the feet of an opportunistic Riley Barger who turned with her right foot and found the back of the net to even the score.

Berman gave the Terrapins one last chance before the half ended. With under half a minute to play the sophomore launched a shot in space from about thirty yards that Weatherby tipped over the goal. Maryland had little chance to execute the ensuing corner rushing to get it off in the final ten seconds of the half and the teams went into the break knotted at one.

Playing with the wind in the second half, Navy was more aggressive than they had been in for the first forty-five minutes. After managing only four shots in the first half, the Middies would, like the Terps, launch seven shots in the second half. Even with the added aggression, Navy only managed two shots on goal and Beanlands handled them both easily. The same can be said for Weatherby who handled Maryland's two shots - one by Pratt and one by Doody -with ease.

Maryland's best chances came in the seventy-fifth minute when Berman took a cross from Natasha Ntone-Kouo and redirected it high with her knee and in the eightieth minute off a corner kick. Barger played the ball in and the attempted clear came to Berman at the corner of the box but her shot sailed just high.

Playing with the wind in the first overtime, Maryland was again the more aggressive squad out shooting Navy six to one. The Terps nearly pulled out the win in the ninety-fifth minute. The sequence began when Fichtner intercepted a lazy pass near midfield. She ran a little give and go with Barger and launched a rocket from about 35 yards that Weatherby tipped over the goal. On the corner kick that followed, Navy headed out the serve from Barger. Baker gathered it in and had her shot blocked. The ball fell right at the feet of Doody but she put her shot right in Weatherby's breadbasket making an easy tenth save for Navy's keeper.

Each team managed only a single shot in the second overtime. Maryland's came from Shade Pratt just as time expired but was dangerous enough to give Weatherby her career high eleventh save. The Terps return to the pitch Friday night when they host Rutgers at 7:00 pm in their first ever B1G regular season contest.