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Maryland Women's Soccer Handles Navy, 2-0

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Alex Anthony provided the offense and Maryland locked down the Midshipmen on Sunday night under the lights at Ludwig Field.

Noah Niederhoffer

History

Maryland head coach Jonathan Morgan is 9-1-0 at home against non-conference opponents. Navy has never beaten Maryland and their only result against the Terps came last year in Annapolis when the Midshipmen salvaged a 1-1 tie.

First Half

Maryland seemed intent on maintaining their undefeated mark against the Mids as Amanda Gerlitz made a textbook pass up the field to Alex Anthony, who scored an easy goal just 13 seconds into the game. Anthony had one person to beat and used a quick burst to get past her and get the shot off.

The Terrapins nearly added a second goal with 33 minutes left to play in the half when Natasha Ntone-Kuo sent a cross near the right corner flag and Alex Anthony headed it. Dayton Wetherby dove and made a great save to prevent Navy from going down 2-0.

Maryland continued to press the Mids on offense. Anthony took her fifth shot of the half - which accounted for all of the Terp's shots at the time - and Wetherby made another fantastic stop to prevent the goal. Navy's best opportunity came with around 16 minutes remaining in the half. The Mids got a corner kick and had a couple of opportunities but it wasn't easy with so many bodies clogging up the box. Kay Jo Gansrow got her foot on a ball but it was blocked near the Maryland goal.

Cassie Phillips and Kady Badham both had chances for Maryland but neither could convert and the Terps went into the break up 1-0.

Second Half

Riley Barger had the first good chance of the second half for the Terrapins. She handled a nice through ball and although she had a great look at the goal, her shot was wide to the right. The second opportunity for Maryland came from Alex Anthony when she had a set piece just outside the box.

A deflection turned into Maryland's second goal of the night with 25:39 left in the game. Riley Barger sent in a corner kick and Sarah Molina used her head to pop it up towards the goal. Anthony jumped up and headed it in for her second goal of the game and third of the season. With the goal, she eclipsed her total from last year.

Gansrow broke free down the left side for Navy late in the half but Maryland was able to get numbers back and stamp out the threat. Clare MacAdam had a free position shot just outside the box after being taken down just outside the box with a little over 10 minutes left to play. The shot was very good but Rachelle Beanlands, Maryland's veteran goalie, was in great position and made the save.

The rest of the game went on without much incident and Maryland secured the 2-0 win.

Recap

Alex Anthony's goal just 13 seconds into the game was tied for the 20th quickest goal to start a game in NCAA history. The last player to score 13 seconds into a game was Lindsay Johnson of Illinois on November 11th, 2001.

"I'll take some credit for that", Morgan joked as he described how the team had practiced the play. Sarah Fichtner was supposed to receive the ball from Amanda Gerlitz but Fichtner drew her defender away and Gerlitz made the smart play, sending the ball through to Anthony.

Anthony said it feels phenomenal to finally be healthy and playing at 100 percent. "I'm really excited about this season and I'm going to give it all I've got every game because you don't know when it's going to be your last game."

Maryland played an aggressive game and racked up 22 fouls. They aren't a very big team but what they lack in size, they make up for with their scrappy play. The midfielders had open space to operate for the entire game. They tracked down the 50-50 balls and won the possession battle.

The Terps out-shot the Midshipmen 18-6 and took six corners to Navy's one. Maryland put seven of those 18 shots on goal. Dayton Wetherby was game for Navy and her great play in goal allowed the Mids to stay in the game. Navy's offense didn't give her much help as they only put one shot on goal. Some of the credit should definitely go to Maryland's stout back-line. Gerlitz, Turner, Collins and Shea played all 90 minutes together and didn't let much of anything through.

Beanlands has yet to allow a goal this season and she is currently fourth on the Maryland career list with 16 shutouts.

Bottom Line

Maryland took a trip out west for their first two games of the 2014-2015 season and lost 3-0 to the defending national champion UCLA Bruins and 1-0 to Pepperdine. This season, they open the season at home for their first four games. Riley Barger said that it makes a big difference. "Ludwig is our field. It's our home. It's 'Protect Ludwig'. You can't disrespect the field. I think starting off at home is really good for us. We get to get our groove, get comfortable."

That being said, Maryland (2-0-0) played a very good game but not a great game against a team that is pretty pedestrian. West Virginia is ranked in the top 15 this season and comes to town for a Friday night showdown at Ludwig. Maryland was good on offense but they left some potential goals out on the pitch. The Terps struggled to finish last season and it wrecked their season. They cannot have a repeat of that and hope to win the Big Ten.

It is clear that Alex Anthony is going to take a rip at the goal about ten times a game and Morgan is perfectly fine with that. She is a confident goal-scorer and as Morgan told me last season, "Every time she is on the field, we know we have a chance to score."

The Terps are in position to make a big statement against West Virginia next week and they will need their forwards and back-line to continue their solid play. Maryland will be pushed by a better class of athlete and caliber of player than they faced tonight and they will have to play their best game of this young season if they want to move to 3-0. That is the bottom line.