#11 Penn State (9-2-2, 4-1-1) has won the Big Ten regular season title in seven of the past eight years. They reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament last year, the National Championship game in 2012, and haven't missed the tournament in 20 years. Their last two recruiting classes have both been ranked second in the country. They are a bona fide dynasty, unless you think dynasties require national championships, in which case they are a bona fide powerhouse.
They looked the part on Thursday, outshooting Maryland 30-1 in a 1-0 win. Maryland never really held possession for longer than a few precious seconds, let alone threaten the Nittany Lions' goal. However, it looked like the Terrapins might be able to force an overtime with the score 0-0, not conceding until the 77th minute. Penn State would have found the back of the net earlier, were it not for great plays from goalkeeper Rachelle Beanlands, who racked up a career-high 11 saves on the night.
Penn State's breakthrough came in the 77th minute, and the chance started when the Terrapins lost track of Mallory Weber behind the backline. Obviously, Penn State had been dominating possession and attack all game, but this was an especially shocking defensive breakdown, as Weber received a cross while standing 10 yards in front of goal, meaning she was about as close to the goal as any Maryland defender was to her.
Weber did not handle the chance cleanly, taking an awkward first touch before having her shot stopped by a charging Beanlands. The ball rolled back towards the middle of the box, where Megan Schafer quickly ran onto it and blasted it into the top of the net for her first goal of the season, coming on Penn State's 28th shot of the game.
Beanlands and Weber had remained tangled throughout the play, and the keeper was incensed that there was no foul called on Penn State. After the goal, Beanlands immediately looked toward the assistant referee on the sideline before pleading with the main referee to no avail. Head coach Jonathan Morgan also called the referee over to talk before play restarted.
Schafer took the Nittany Lions' 30th (and final) shot of the night as well, a one-on-one chance with Beanlands in the 82nd minute which snuck past the keeper but hit the outside of the post, keeping Maryland's slim hopes alive.
The Terrapins earned one corner kick in each half, but neither led to any shots. The second corner came in the 86th minute, but it was taken low and was easily cleared out. Maryland's only other significant threat late in the game was another set piece, coming just before the corner. Alex Anthony earned a free kick when a Penn State defender engaged her in a bit of an altercation off the ball.
All Maryland could do with the free kick was earn that corner, and they failed to add onto their shot total of one. Riley Barger took that shot in the 62nd minute, on one of Maryland's most successful ventures into Penn State's side of the field. Barger shot from about 20 yards out, and it wasn't even close to being on target.
Penn State, meanwhile, hit both the crossbar and post, and put 12 of their 30 shots on target. They earned four corner kicks, and matched Maryland by committing five fouls.
This was a wire-to-wire domination of Maryland (5-8, 0-4), who were not in the same class as Penn State on Thursday. They look to pick up their first conference points on Sunday on the road against Ohio State.