In a back and forth game, Maryland women’s soccer seemed like it had the advantage late against Indiana, but failed to convert on three consecutive shots — all in the 77th minute.
Midfielder Emily McNesby started the attack with a shot that ended wide right, followed by a dart from midfielder Loren Sefcik that went wide left. Defender Jlon Flippens ended things with a shot that flew over the crossbar, ending the Terrapins chances of scoring on the Hoosiers’ rebounding miscues.
The Terrapins couldn’t find a score through two double overtime periods to end in 0-0 draw with the Hoosiers — they’ve now gone three consecutive matches without a win for this first time this season.
“We had a lot of shots tonight, we just have to focus on putting them on target,” forward Alyssa Poarch said.
The Terrapins have played in four overtime games this season, all of which entered the double period. Tonight’s outcome marks the third time this season that Maryland has ended in a draw.
The team earned its seventh win of the year against Illinois three games ago, tied for the most victories in the Ray Leone era, and looking like it could have make the Big Ten tournament for the first time.
Since then, the Terrapins have been blanked in three straight contests to keep the team from reaching their eighth win of the season.
Maryland’s attack was nowhere to be found at the start of the game, as it didn’t earn its first shot until the sixth minute. But it started to put on some pressure to end the first half with five straight shots.
“We put a little more pressure on them, but we didn’t put the ball in a dangerous enough place,” Leone said. “They were getting too comfortable moving the ball around.”
Just before the conclusion of the half, forward Kaylee Kozlowski opened up yet another opportunity for the Terrapins with a clean shot in the open field, but it ended up wide right of the goal.
Maryland finished the match with 21 shots, more than it earned in its last two matches combined, when they only totaled 11. But it wouldn’t matter as only four managed to get on goal Thursday.
“It was a big adjustment, we had to learn their style of play,” Poarch said. “I think that after this game we learned a lot and we need to carry it into the next one.”
Indiana controlled the ball in the first overtime period, getting off two shots compared to the Terrapins’ one. The Hoosiers tallied 15 total shots in the game, six of which were on goal and all saved by Maryland goalkeeper Erin Seppi.
“We dropped and waited for our mids to come on the ball,” defender Malikae Dayes said. “We needed to give time to everyone to drop back on the ball.”
Poarch earned a free kick with six minutes remaining in the second overtime period, but her shot was a line drive and went straight into the Indiana goalkeeper Bethany Kopel’s hands.
Three things to know
1. Maryland lost its attack - The Terrapins netted six goals in their last victory over Illinois, the highest goal total against a Big Ten opponent since joining the conference in 2014. Since then, Maryland seems to have lost its mojo after being blanked in three straight games.
The team failed to exceed six shots in the last two games, but managed to end with 21 against Indiana. This step in the right direction could be a factor in the team’s final three games as the Terrapins look to secure a postseason berth — though they will have to make good on those chances.
“They put a block of eight defenders on us, and you have to be sophisticated to get around it,” Leone said. “Sometimes we were and sometimes we weren’t.”
2. Time is fading away - Before Thursday’s contest against Indiana, Maryland sat just one spot out of the top-eight in the Big Ten. The draw pushes the Terrapins that much further out of the playoff picture with just three games remaining, two of which come on the road.
Maryland’s next two games come against Purdue and Michigan State, both of which are towards the bottom of the conference standings. The final game is an away matchup against the Big Ten’s top-ranked team, Michigan.
“We were definitely happy to get a point, but we were wishing for three,” Poarch said. “Going into the game on Sunday, we need have that winning mindset.”
3. The Hoosiers remains unbeaten against Maryland one out - Since joining the Big Ten, Maryland has faced Indiana five times. Each of those games ended in a result determined by one goal or less, with three victories going to the Hoosiers and the other two ending in a draw.
As a team that sits just a few spots in front of the Terrapins in the conference standings, Indiana continues to own the Terrapins in Big Ten play and moves up in the rankings as the regular season begins to wrap up.