Maryland women's soccer comes into its season finale against Nebraska toting a 6-11-1 record, which surpasses the team's win total from last season. Head coach Jonathan Morgan has said that it would be meaningful to better their win total from last year, and the team has one last chance to do so Wednesday.
The Cornhuskers bring a record of 7-7-2, and 3-5-2 in Big Ten play, into Wendesday's game. That puts them in 10th place in the conference with 11 points, still in the hunt for the final spot in the eight-team Big Ten Tournament, but not in control of their own destiny. Anything less than a win over the Terrapins would eliminate Nebraska, so needless to say the team have plenty to play for on their senior night.
Nebraska's been missing its biggest attacking threat, forward Jaycie Johnson, since the ninth game of the season, when she suffered a torn ACL. The junior greatly impressed in her first two seasons, racking up numerous accolades, and is still tied for third on the team in points despite missing over half the season.
Interestingly, defender Jaylyn Odermann is leading the Cornhusker attack in 2015. The senior, who was named to the Big Ten Players to Watch list in the preseason, has four goals and three assists, and is second on the team with 23 shots. However, Odermann has scored just once since September 6, and the team as a whole struggled on offense in Big Ten play until breaking out for five goals against Iowa last Friday.
Nebraska has scored just six goals in its nine conference games that weren't against Iowa, an average nearly as paltry as Maryland's. Midfielder Caroline Flynn is their leading goal scorer in 2015, netting five goals, including two in the 5-3 win over Iowa. Sydney Miramontez is another midfielder that is crucial to the Nebraska attack, contributing a team-high five assists and scoring once.
The Cornhusker defense hasn't been stellar against conference opponents either, allowing multiple goals in six of their 10 Big Ten games. Sophomore goalkeeper Erika Johnson is in her first season as a starter, and did come up big in a 1-0 win over Northwestern by saving a penalty kick with just 31 seconds remaining in the game.
Nebraska's defense is anchored by Odermann, who is one of just two seniors on the roster. Next to her are a freshman and a sophomore, but the midfield boasts a bit more experience, with the juniors Flynn and Miramontez starting alongside the other senior, Katie Kraeutner, in addition to a pair of sophomores.
The Cornhuskers are the type of team that Maryland should match up well against. They struggle to score goals and have a leaky defense that the Terrapins may be able to take advantage of. Though there may not seem to be much riding on this game for Maryland, no one on this senior-laden team wants to end their college careers, or season, on a bad note.
Nebraska and Maryland face off Wednesday at 8 p.m. and the game will be streamed on BTN Plus.