Maryland women’s soccer snapped its five-game losing streak with a 3-1 win over Illinois Thursday night. The Terps also picked up their first home win this season.
Maryland jumped out to a 2-0 lead after six minutes with goals from Jarena Harmon and Chelsea Jackson, and held the lead for the rest of the night. Harmon added another goal in the 24th minute, and almost had a chance for a hat trick but had her shot on a breakaway blocked in the 85th minute.
Despite the result, Maryland was outshot 16-8, and took just one corner compared to the Fighting Illini’s 10. The Terps actually outshot Illinois 6-5 in the first half, but Illinois was definitely the more aggressive team in the second half, as it was trying to come back from a 3-1 deficit.
Katelyn Jensen had another good night in goal for the Terps, making seven saves, with six coming in the second half. This is her second straight impressive outing and she looks to be the full time starter (more on that later).
With the three goals tonight, the Terps has now scored as many goals in 10 games (17) as they did all of last season.
After getting off to a slow start for the past three games, the Terps got out to a fast start tonight. The Terps struck first in the 4th minute when Madison Turner put a nice pass past the Illinois defenders and Harmon finished it off.
Just two minutes later, Maryland got on the board again when Chelsea Jackson headed in a cross from Turner.
Turner also had a chance of her own early in the first half when Cassie Phillips fed her a pass from midfield but she couldn’t finish.
The Fighting Illini struck back when Allison Stucky scored in the 9th minute. The goal came after the Terps failed to clear the ball out of the box, and Stucky put the shot just past Jensen’s arms on the right side. Illinois then had chances to tie the game but couldn’t, as they failed to convert corner kicks in the 19th and 22nd minute .
While the Fighting Illini squandered opportunities, the Terps converted them. In the 24th minute Turner was fouled, setting up a free kick by Jlon Flippens. On the free kick, Phillips' header went off the cross bar, and Harmon headed the rebound into an empty net. It was Harmon’s eighth goal of the season, surpassing her total from last year.
After giving up three goals in the first half twice in the past three games, Maryland had three goals of their own in the first half.
Illinois pulled goalie Michelle Denley, for Claire Wheatley to start the second half, and she faced pressure immediately. Just eight seconds into the half, she blocked a point-blank shot from Turner. Turner had another opportunity in the 52nd minute after receiving a nice ball from Lisa Bianchini, but Wheatley deflected it.
Illinois was the more aggressive team in the second half, but couldn’t find a way to score. Hope D’Addario had the best chances for the Fighting Illini, but had a free kick saved by Jensen in the 65th minute, and had another blocked by Darby Moore in the 70th minute.
The Terps improved to 3-6-1, but have a tough challenge on Sunday when No. 21 Northwestern comes to College Park.
Three things to know
- It’s nice to score three goals instead of giving up three goals: After some lethargic starts the past few games, Maryland finally got off to a fast start. Instead of being put away at halftime, they put the Fighting Illini away. It was the first time Maryland had scored three goals in a Big Ten game since Sep. 28, 2014, when they lost to Nebraska 4-3.
- The dynamic duo strikes again: If Maryland scores, you can almost guarantee it will come from either Harmon or Jackson. Jackson added one while Harmon added two, and the pair have now scored 82 percent of the Terps’ goals this season.
- Ray Leone may have finally stopped the goalie roulette: Katelyn Jensen started for the third straight game and also played the full 90 minutes for a second straight night. Although Leone wouldn’t name a starter this week, it looks like he’s made up his mind.