Thirty-two seconds into the game, Ohio State’s leading goal scorer, senior attacker Emma Sears, mishit a cross into the box that somehow curled its way past Maryland graduate goalkeeper Emory Wegener, giving the Buckeyes an early 1-0 lead and her third goal in as many games.
That ounce of misfortune lead to an overflow of disaster for Maryland women’s soccer, as the Buckeyes went on to score six more in a 7-0 rout of the Terrapins.
The seven-goal margin of defeat was the largest for the program since Sept. 4, 1993, when Maryland lost, 7-0, to North Carolina.
The Terps have now lost six straight games and fall to 2-7-5. Thursday night’s loss also kept Maryland at one Big Ten win this season, with its hopes of postseason action slowly slipping away with just three games left on the schedule.
Not very often are games out of reach 12 minutes in, but Thursday night’s was.
From the onset, Ohio State made Maryland look like a shadow of itself, dominating from start to finish.
The Buckeyes netted four goals before 15 minutes had elapsed, including a brace from Sears. She doubled Ohio State’s lead off a breakaway in the fifth minute, leaving Wegener in the dust as she essentially passed the ball into the far corner. Sears is now tied for second in the conference with eight tallies.
Maryland has been able to respond to early deficits in previous games this season, but that was far from the case Thursday night, with the Buckeyes seemingly playing the entire first half in the Terps’ end. It was a continuous onslaught from the home side, and a clearly shell-shocked Terrapin side saw its fighting mentality become an impossible reality.
The Terps were without star center back Malikae Dayes against the Buckeyes, and that void was felt and then some.
Just a minute after Sears’ second goal, it was 3-0, as senior attacker Kayla Fischer dribbled past the entire Maryland defense and easily slotted it home.
Two penalty kicks in a span of 15 minutes by sophomore forward Kailyn Dudukovich put the Terps in a 5-0 hole not even halfway through the opening 45 minutes of play.
An unorganized and uninspired back line couldn’t stop the Buckeyes’ attack, with the Terps seeing themselves being outshot by seven as the first half came to a close.
One of those shots on goal came from senior midfielder Sofi Vinas in the 39th minute, who was one of a few players who came off the bench midway through the first half when the lead was already insurmountable.
The Terps found their footing with the midfield substitutions of Vinas and junior captain Catherine DeRosa, but with the game already out of reach, the positive play to end the half was the smallest of moral victories.
Maryland looked competitive to start the second half, but the Buckeyes once again netted a flurry of goals.
Dudokovich secured a hat trick with her third goal coming in the 59th minute after a misplay from senior goalkeeper Maddie Smith, who was substituted into the game to take over for Wegener at the half.
Only 29 seconds later, the Buckeyes added on the extra point as junior midfielder Kine Flotre netted her second goal of the season to make it 7-0.
From then on, with the game’s outcome long decided, both teams stalled. The damage was already done, and Maryland fell in both convincing and historic fashion Thursday night.
The Terps are now riding a six-game losing streak and will look to recover from Thursday’s disastrous defeat when they come home for the last time this season against Minnesota Sunday afternoon.
Three things to know
1. What could go wrong, did go wrong. Maryland hadn’t allowed more than four goals in a game this season, but quickly found itself down 4-0 just 12 minutes in against the Buckeyes. After conceding 32 seconds after the opening whistle, it was all downhill from there. Down 5-0 not even 22 minutes in, the Terps looked the worst they have in 2022, and it was a concerning sight with the season winding down.
2. Missing personnel contributed to the loss. With graduate defender Malikae Dayes out of the lineup due to a suspension, an already shorthanded back line struggled immensely. Freshman Tahirah Turnage looked out of place alongside sophomore Halle Johnson. Additionally, junior midfielder Catherine DeRosa came off the bench for the first time this season, and it wasn’t until her substitution after the fifth goal that the Terps started to control some of the play.
3. Six straight losses. It’s been tough sledding for Maryland after their conference-opening win against Michigan. At 1-6 in Big Ten play, the Terps are quickly falling out of the running for the final seed in the conference tournament. Maryland has managed just one goal in its last five games.