When it rains, it pours for Maryland women’s soccer. The Terps once again allowed three first half goals in a 5-2 loss to George Mason Sunday night. It was Maryland’s fourth straight loss, and the team is 2-5-1 heading into Big Ten play.
After Rachel Egyed allowed three goals on Wednesday against Navy, this was Katelyn Jensen’s turn. The Patriots dictated the tempo of the game, and could get almost any opportunity they wanted.
George Mason’s Alex Myers opened up the scoring with an impressive shot from 18 yards out that curved into the right side of the goal, and they added their other two goals on headers in the box. The Patriots also showed some skill in the open field, with Erin Mitchell getting the ball past three defenders before Jlon Flippens made a nice recovery to block her shot.
For Maryland, it was a tale of two halves. The Terps struggled to create opportunities in the first half, and it looked like that would continue in the second half after Chelsea Jackson went down with an ankle injury in the 32nd minute. Jackson came into the game ranked second on the team with four goals, and only Jarena Harmon is a bigger threat on offense for the Terps.
But Jackson came back on in the 56th minute, and Maryland’s offense woke up.
Harmon scored in the 71st minute and Jackson added one in the 78th, but George Mason scored two more goals to shut the door on a possible comeback.
Once again, Maryland’s opponent controlled tempo early. The Patriots dominated possession in the first half, and out-shot the Terps 10-2 over the first 45 minutes and 15-8 for the game.
Maryland’s defense broke for the first time in the 21st minute when Myers bent a shot past Jensen from the left side. The Patriots scored again just two minutes later, when Mitchell headed in a Becca Callison cross.
Maryland struggled throughout the first half and didn’t get its first shot off until the 25th minute when Jarena Harmon failed to convert on a breakaway. Harmon had her shot blocked by George Mason goalie Kirsten Glad, and Cassie Phillips’s long range shot after the ensuing corner went wide.
After Maryland failed to cut into the lead, George Mason scored again, this time off a corner kick. Kaila Williams sent it in to Sarah Hardison, who headed it into the back of the net. Once again, the Terps found themselves out of a game before the first half was over.
Early in the second half, Maryland still couldn’t catch any breaks. Phillips had a free kick blocked in the 56th minute, and Harmon and Jackson had shots blocked in the 64th minute.
The Terps finally broke through in the 72nd minute when Harmon finished off a Jackson cross in the box. Jackson added her own goal in the 78th minute off a free kick from Flippens, and it felt like a whole different game.
That feeling was brief, as Hardison headed in a cross in the 81st minute to extend the lead, and then Myers blasted a long range shot past Stephanie Senn to put the game away.
The Terps open up Big Ten play when they travel to No. 23 Rutgers on Friday.
Three things to know
- It’s hard to win when you give up three first half goals: Maryland has scored five goals in their last two goals, but have lost because of porous defense in the first half. No matter how good you are on offense, it’s almost impossible to come back from a 3-0 deficit.
- Sarah Kovalchick and Emily Kift made their season debuts: Despite the blowout, there were some nice moments. Walk-on Sarah Kovalchick checked in for the first time, and Emily Kift made her Maryland soccer debut after spending three years as a goalie on Maryland’s women lacrosse team.
- Maryland was once again a second half team: Just like against Navy, Maryland played with more fire in the second half. If they played with the same intensity in the first half, the result could have been much different.