Maryland women’s soccer once again struggled against a ranked opponent, losing 4-1 to No. 21 Northwestern Sunday. The Terps drop to 3-7-1 on the season and 1-2 in Big Ten play with the loss.
Once again, the game was out of reach at halftime. Northwestern got on the board when Terps goalie Katelyn Jensen failed to deflect out Marisa Viggiano’s corner kick, and added two more before the first half was over.
The Terps cut the lead to 3-1 in the 62nd minute when Jlon Flippens converted a penalty kick, but the Wildcats added a goal in the 80th minute to seal the victory.
Maryland was only outshot 13-10, but Northwestern was clearly the better team. The Wildcats came into the game allowing three goals all season, and two of those came in a loss to Rutgers on Friday. Maryland struggled to find good opportunities, and the Wildcats did a good job making sure Jarena Harmon couldn’t create opportunities.
Jensen started in goal for the fourth straight game, but was pulled midway through the second half for Rachel Egyed. It looked like Ray Leone was going to stick with Jensen going forward, but now who will start Thursday against Michigan State looks up in the air.
After scoring two goals in the first six minutes on Thursday, Maryland trailed from almost the start today. In the 4th minute, Jensen tried to punch out Marisa Viggiano’s corner kick but couldn’t get it out.
Madison Turner once again facilitated the offense for the Terps, but had a shot blocked in the 13th minute. In the 15th minute, she made three moves to try to get around Northwestern’s back line and had to give it up to a heavily guarded Harmon.
After that, Northwestern dominated possession for the rest of the half. The Wildcats added to their lead when Kassidy Gorman put in a wide open shot in front of the goal in the 18th minute.
As if two first-half goals wasn’t enough, Northwestern added a third goal in the 40th minute when Maria Grygelski scored on a left side on a cross from Maddy Lucas. It was another defensive breakdown, as Lucas was unguarded on the left side.
The Terps were only outshot 6-5 in the first half, but that doesn’t accurately reflect each team’s level of play. Besides a few chances early, Northwestern dominated and had much better shots on goal. Northwestern’s experience showed, as they scored goals from just getting the ball past Maryland’s backline.
The Wildcats continued to attack in the first half, with three shots going high and Jensen saved a shot from Maddy Lucas.
Maryland looked to press more in the second half, and had a great chance when Moore had a shot high after it bounced around the box. The Terps got on the board in the 63rd minute on a Flippens penalty kick after Harmon was fouled by Nikia Smith.
Harmon didn’t look like herself after the foul, but remained involved, putting a header wide in the 75th minute.
Northwestern answered in the 80th minute on a goal from Kayla Sharples off a corner kick.
Three things to know
- It doesn’t matter who’s in goal if the back line doesn’t help: Maryland has rotated goalies throughout the season, but a goalie can only do so much. The Terps’ defense has allowed the opposition to get easy looks often, and that happened again Sunday. If this type of play continues, it doesn’t matter who Ray Leone puts between the pipes.
- Jlon Flippens gets her first goal: The freshman converted a penalty kick for the first goal of her Maryland career. Flippens has played mostly defense this year, but has recently started to take free and corner kicks for the Terps.
- Egyed returns: Yes, the goalie question is back. The redshirt sophomore replaced Jensen following Flippens’ goal in the 62nd minute, and made one save while snuffing out a few other opportunities. Leone said after the game that he would look at how the team responds to each goalie before deciding on a starter for next week. The team returns to action Thursday afternoon at Michigan State.