The Terrapins fell 2-0 to Northwestern in one of their most disappointing games of the season. Coming off a 1-0 loss to a highly regarded Rutgers team, Maryland hoped to get on track in conference play during their roadtrip to Illinois. Instead, they dropped a 2-0 affair to the Wildcats and took just five shots.
The Terrapins' first shot came in the 39th minute, which really says all there is to say about the first half of this game. Unsurprisingly, Wildcat forward Addie Steiner, who entered play having taken 20 more shots than anybody else on the roster, had the first shot of the game, a fifth minute effort that went wide.
Steiner made her second shot of the game count, slipping behind the defense and running onto a long ball from Niki Sebo. With only Rachelle Beanlands to beat, Steiner calmly lifted the ball over the charging Beanlands, giving the Wildcats a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute. Terrapin defender Kayla Shea did get her head on Sebo's pass, but she couldn't do anything to prevent the ball from getting to Steiner's feet.
The next shot of the game was Maryland's, more than 20 minutes later, when forward Alex Anthony struck the crossbar. The Terrapins weren't being peppered with shots from Northwestern, whose third and final shot of the half was Steiner's goal. Maryland's only shot of the half was Anthony's effort that hit the woodwork.
Northwestern took the first four shots of the second half, and once again Maryland's first shot didn't come until late in the half, this time in the 68th minute. The Wildcats took a couple of shots early, one in the 51st minute that missed high, and one in the 54th, which Beanlands saved.
In the 65th minute, the Sabo-Steiner connection proved deadly once again. Sabo, a senior midfielder, picked up her second assist of the game, and season, after she found Steiner with a cross.. According to the Northwestern scorekeeper, Steiner then dribbled around Beanlands and scored, notching her fourth goal of the season.
Now down 2-0, Maryland quickly began to generate more offense. Alex Anthony tried to cut the deficit in half just a few minutes later, but her shot was saved by Northwestern's goalkeeper Lauren Clem. In the 72nd minute, Madison Turner, who started in attack for the first time this season, became the second Terp to hit the crossbar. Lisa Bianchini took a shot (presumably off the rebound) 16 seconds later, but Clem was able to handle it.
The Terps earned their first two corners of the game in the 75th and 76th minutes, but did nothing with them. Northwestern padded their shot totals as the game wound down, as did Madison Turner, whose 89th minute shot was saved by Clem. For good measure, Addie Steiner took her fourth and final shot of the game just a handful of seconds after that.
There was no stream from Evanston on Thursday, so it's tough to say exactly what happened during this game, especially considering Maryland's habit of creating scorelines and statsheets that don't tell the most accurate stories.
If you take away the three shots Northwestern took after the 80th minute, when Maryland was presumably pushing serious numbers forward with nothing to lose, Northwestern had just six shots during the game. That points to a relatively strong defensive performance from Maryland, as does the 0 corners NU earned. However, the one video we do have shows defending that leaves quite a bit to be desired, and generally forwards being in a position to dribble around the keeper also isn't a sign of suffocating defense.
Maryland's offense, meanwhile, took a measly five shots. However, three required a save, and two hit the crossbar.
These numbers paint the picture of a confusing, somewhat ugly, game. If the Terrapins don't turn it around soon, their season may end up being described using the same adjectives.
Maryland (5-5, 0-2) will look to start the turnaround on Sunday against Illinois (7-2-1, 1-1-1), who ended #11 Rutgers' season-long scoreless streak tonight en route to a 2-1 upset win.