The Maryland women’s soccer team took care of business at Penn on Sunday, defeating the Quakers 3-1.
The Terps got two goals in the first 11 minutes from Darby Moore and Cassie Phillips, and Jarena Harmon added a goal in the second half to seal the victory. This came against a Penn defense that returned multiple starters from a unit that allowed just 11 goals and recorded seven shutouts last season.
Moore got the Terps on the board first in the sixth minute, putting the ball in a wide open net after Penn goalie Carrie Crook collided with a defender. Just five minutes later Cassie Phillips scored from 30 yards out to give Maryland a 2-0 lead.
Penn struggled to get shots on goal in the first half, with the Quakers’ best chance coming when Olivia Blaber’s shot went wide of the net. Penn kept looking for opportunities at the end of the first half, but could only muster a Maddie Dawkins shot that Maryland goalkeeper Rachel Egyed saved.
A scary moment came midway through the first half, when Natasha Ntone-Kouo hurt her left leg fighting for possession with a Penn player. She fell to the ground and grimaced in pain, and was eventually carted off the field. If Ntone-Kouo has to miss significant time, she be will hard to replace. Until her injury, she had been one of five players to play every minute for the Terps this season.
Katelyn Jensen replaced and shut down Penn for the beginning of the second half, but Olivia Blaber scored when she was out of position after a previous shot. Maryland answered almost immediately, as Jarena Harmon headed in a free kick from Jlon Flippens. The Quakers had a chance a few minutes later, but Blaber just missed a ball that she could have headed past Jensen.
Three things to know
- This was Maryland’s best game of the season: The Terps put together a complete game tonight at Rhodes Field. They attacked on offense, were strong on defense, and converted on set pieces. Although there is still room for improvement, it’s nice to see the Terps play this well early in the season with so many new players.
- Two first time starters get goals: Darby Moore and Cassie Phillips started for the first time on Sunday, and both scored. For Moore, it was her first action of the season while Phillips played 22 minutes in Thursday’s win against William & Mary.
- Maryland gets it done on the road: After winning just one game away from Ludwig Field in 2015, the Terps won their first two on the road in 2016. They have a chance to get their first home win on Friday, when they take on No. 20 Pepperdine at 4 p.m.