Following a 1-1 draw against Temple last Thursday, Maryland women’s soccer will seek its first win of the season when the team heads out to face Navy in an in-state matchup.
Maryland held a distinct advantage in play for the larger part of the 90 minutes against Temple, but a lack of finishing in the final third from a newly-formed Terrapin attack, coupled with outstanding goaltending from Temple’s Kamryn Stablein, ensured the distasteful result.
The Terps and Midshipmen faced off last year in College Park, with the latter coming away with a 3-1 victory.
Thursday’s game will be the second of three road games to start the season for head coach Meg Ryan Nemzer and company.
The game will be streamed on ESPN+ with kickoff set for 8 p.m at the Glenn Warner Soccer Facility in Annapolis.
Navy Midshipmen (2-0-1)
2021 record: 11-6-3 (6-2-1 Patriot League)
Navy is one of, if not the best team in the Patriot League, taking home its conference championship in two of the previous three seasons.
Head coach Carin Gabarra is in her 30th year at the helm and has got her team off to a usual start to begin the season.
The Midshipmen, having already logged three games of action so far this season, come into Thursday’s dance with the Terps with no real rest.
Following a 2-0 victory against The Citadel on Aug. 18, they drew 0-0 against Western Carolina on Aug. 21 before decimating Marymount University, 6-0, Tuesday afternoon.
Ultimately, the Midshipmen will face their toughest contest of the season Thursday night with just over 48 hours rest against a Terrapin squad with a week of rest.
Players to know
Chloe Dawson, junior defender, No. 26 — Dawson is the backbone of Navy’s defense and has already spearheaded them to three consecutive cleans sheets to begin this season. Last year, she was named to the All-Patriot League second team as she appeared in 19-of-21 games, notching a team-high five assists along the way. Two of those came against the Terps last season.
Alexa Riddle, sophomore forward, No. 4 — A rookie standout from the 2021 campaign, Riddle received Rookie of the Year honors in the Patriot League. Riddle, who notched her first career goal against the Terps, saw her season jump extraordinarily from there, finishing with a team-high nine goals and 23 points. She’ll look to notch her first of the season on Thursday.
Katie Herrmann, junior midfielder, No. 7 — Herrmann was selected to the All-Conference preseason team, and for good reason. As a sophomore last season, she led the Navy midfield in almost every statistical category. Taking the charge in goals and assists, she also was a workhorse, logging 766 of a potential 830 minutes in conference play. With two members of the 2021 midfield leaving the program, she’s been given the keys to control the pitch.
A sharp attack. The Midshipmen led the Patriot League in goals last season and have wasted no time so far this season, as they come into Thursday’s game with eight goals over their first three games. They are returning all but two of their goal scorers from last season and have already had seven players see the scoresheet this season. More impressively, none of those goals have come from their usual starting attack trio of Alexa Riddle, senior Caitlin Doran and sophomore Amanda Graziano.
Tired legs. Coming into the contest unbeaten at 2-0-1, Navy has played the most games in the conference as of Wednesday. Thursday’s game will be its third in a week. Navy notched six goals in Tuesday’s outing on just over 48 hours rest, so with Maryland providing a Power Five challenge, the Midshipmen will once again need to overcome fatigue at home.
Three things to know
1. Possession will be key for the Terps. If Maryland can control possession like it did in its opening matchup, the road to success becomes a whole lot easier. Letting a prolific goal-scoring offense with threat after threat in their attack control the ball will see the Terps end with a similar result to last year’s contest, in which Navy netted three at Ludwig Field.
2. The elusive first win is still up for grabs for Nemzer. Despite coming a few inches away — on a few occasions — from a debut victory, Nemzer will look to secure the first win of her tenure in a very good test for her team. For the 11 returning players, they have the chance to avenge a tough loss last year while getting their new coach in the win column.
3. This is the first of two games in four days for Maryland. Following Thursday evening’s affair, the Terps will have little turnaround before heading back out to Philadelphia, but this time to face the University of Pennsylvania. That matchup, slated for 6 p.m. on Sunday, will round out the Terps’ three-game road trip to start the season.