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Maryland women’s soccer vs Temple preview

Coming off a 1-1 draw with George Washington, the Terps look to get back in the win column against an AAC foe.

maryland women’s soccer coach ray leone Lila Bromberg / Testudo Times

Maryland women’s soccer begins a four-game homestand Thursday. The Terps first go up against Temple after traveling to Washington, D.C., in a match that resulted in a tie with George Washington on Sunday.

In the last contest, Mikayla Dayes struck her team-leading third goal of the season in the 50th minute, but a Colonial goal 25 minutes later knotted the score up at one. After two overtime periods, the Terps ended with 16 total shots, only one of which hit the back net.

“[Mikayla] is getting stronger and more confident on the ball,” coach Ray Leone said. “She’s a unique player, you can’t teach what she does.”

Terps goalkeeper Erin Seppi had 11 saves on the day, a season high for the senior. The performance in goal earned her a Big Ten Co-Goalkeeper of the Week honor.

With the tie, Maryland stays above the .500 mark on the season — the team’s record heading into Thursday’s matchup with Temple is 3-2-1.

Temple Owls (1-3-1, 0-0 American)

2018: 7-11-1

The Owls’ women’s soccer program has struggled in recent years, not having a winning record since 2015. However, the team did hand the Terps a 1-0 loss last season in Philadelphia.

Offense has been a struggle for Temple so far this season with only four goals in five games, three of which came in the lone win against the University of Maryland Baltimore College. On the other side of the ball, the Owls have surrendered 10 goals to open up the season.

Players to know

Emma Wilkins, junior forward No. 4 - As the team’s leading scorer last season, Wilkins has solidified herself as the head of the Temple attack. One of her six goals in 2018 came in the win over the Terps. The New Jersey native has netted one goal so far in her junior campaign.

Gabriela Johnson, sophomore forward No. 28 - The Owls’ second offensive leader was Johnson last season. In 19 appearances, the sophomore scored five goals and two assists for a total of 12 points, ranking second behind Wilkins.

Marissa DiGenova, junior defender No. 11 - DiGenova logged the most minutes out of anyone on the team in 2018 with over 1,630. She is also one of five players to have started in all 19 games in 2019. The Terps will have to go through the Owls’ last line of defense to score, that being DiGenova.

Three Things to Watch

1. Will coach Ray Leone reach win 300? After the win over George Mason, Leone reached win No. 299. With only a small number of active coaches having achieved the feat, the Maryland coach could be joining elite company with a win on Thursday.

“I’m not thinking about that,” Leone said. “I’m just thinking about the game.”

2. What statement can be made to start the homestand? It has been pretty obvious in the last couple seasons that Maryland plays better in College Park than on the road. The contest against Temple is the first of four at home, two of which are conference games. The Terps can pad some wins now before hitting the road in tough conference play.

“It’s so exciting to be in front of the home crowd,” Seppi said. “Playing on Ludwig is such a great experience.”

3. When will the first goal come? In Maryland’s tie against George Washington, the first goal didn’t come until the 50th minute. Temple has had its own problems finding the back net this season, so it really becomes who can find the goal first and keep that lead heading into the late minutes.

“We gotta move the ball, we gotta move and keep it,” Leone said. “That’s something that wasn’t good on Sunday for sure, so we just have to relax and move the ball.”