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Maryland women’s soccer vs. No. 11 Georgetown preview

The Terps currently hold an 0-0-3 record.

Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics.

After a three straight road games to begin its season, Maryland women’s soccer is finally set for its home opener this Thursday evening against the Georgetown Hoyas.

The Hoyas, ranked No. 11 in the nation, will be the biggest challenge yet in the tenure of head coach Meg Ryan Nemzer.

“[They’re] a very talented team, a well coached team. So we need to make sure that we’re getting the details,” Nemzer said during Tuesday’s media availability.

Maryland is coming off yet another 1-1 draw — their third consecutive draw to start the season.

The Terps traveled to Philadelphia for the second time in as many weeks, this time to face the Penn Quakers.

In what has seemed like deja vu for this Terrapin squad, senior goalkeeper Madeline Smith once again saw the first goal of the game slide past her, but the Terps were able to emphatically respond.

Moments prior to midway through the second half of what was Maryland’s most evenly-matched contest of the season so far, junior midfielder Juliana Lynch, who was been a force in the Maryland midfield, brought the Terps even.

Just like its previous outings against Temple and Navy, that tying goal would prove to be the game’s final goal, giving Maryland an underwhelming but respectable 0-0-3 record headed into Thursday’s matchup.

Nemzer will now look to finally secure that elusive first win of her tenure in front of the home crowd at Ludwig Field. The game kicks off at 7 p.m. Thursday and will be available for streaming on Big Ten Plus.

No. 11 Georgetown Hoyas (1-1-2)

2021 record: 14-2-6 (6-1-2 Big East)

The Hoyas are one of the nation’s premier programs, dominating and ultimately winning the Big East last season before suffering a heartbreaking upset in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Their 1-1-2 record is deceiving, as they have had one of the toughest nonconference slates imaginable. Georgetown’s lone loss was a 1-0 defeat at the hands of No. 8 Virginia, with two draws coming against then-No. 17 NC State and No. 10 Penn State.

Georgetown cruised past unranked UMass Lowell, 3-0, on Aug. 21 for its only victory of the season to this point.

Up and down the roster, the Hoyas are loaded with elite talent, including a usual starting lineup filled with seven returning upperclassmen.

Led by Dave Nolan in his 19th year as head coach, the Hoyas are a vastly experienced and dangerous group and will pose a difficult threat to a Maryland team looking for its first win.

Players to know

Julia Leas, senior defender, No. 25 — Leas is one of the top players in the nation, with a laundry list of achievements sufficient enough to notch her a spot on this year’s Hermann Trophy Watch List, an annual award given to the nation’s top player. After spending most of her Georgetown tenure as a dominant midfielder, she has transitioned to the Hoyas’ backline to showcase her tremendous defensive prowess. She can excel going up the pitch too, as she’s notched six goals over her previous two seasons, while also collecting awards for Big East Defensive Player of the Week and Most Outstanding Defensive Player of the conference tournament.

Gia Vicari, senior forward, No. 10 — Vicari, a top goal scorer on the team, was named to the Preseason All-Big East team and has lived up to that mention so far this season, registering four points on a goal and two assists. She also leads the Hoyas in shots attempted and on goal so far. The third-year attacker will look to get anything and everything toward Maryland’s net, something the Terps must be aware of headed into Thursday’s contest.

Henley Tippins, freshman forward, No. 27 — Tippins, a freshman phenom, has absolutely exploded out of the gate, notching four goals in Georgetown’s opening four games. Scoring a goal in her collegiate debut, she followed it up with a brace against UMass Lowell. Her electrifying start made her an easy choice for Big East Freshman of this Week this past week.


Experience. Over half of Georgetown’s expected starting lineup has seen play in not one, but two NCAA Tournaments and taken home two conference championships, forming a core group a quality that few teams in the country will be able to replicate. The Hoyas have won 27 out of their last 40 games, possessing a winning and championship mentality. Coming against a Maryland team that has been faced with losing and reshaping over the past couple years, the Hoyas hold a distinct advantage in the experience department.


They are without one of their most important players. Junior goalkeeper Allie Augur is the best goaltender in the Big East, and one of the best in the country. Last season, she managed an outstanding 0.48 goals against average along with 13 shutouts. Both were tops in the conference, as she managed to be the conference’s goalkeeper of the week twice. So far this season, the Big East Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year has yet to appear in goal. Instead, backup freshman keeper Martin Cara has conceded four goals on 12 shots against.

Three things to know

1. Maryland’s defense will need to continue to hold steady. So far, the Terps have yet to allow a goal from open play, which is where the Hoyas have been and will continue to be very dangerous. The Hoyas have averaged over two goals a game to start this season, with similar metrics through their last two campaigns. If the Terps can hold steady in their own box, it should give them a solid chance for a favorable result.

2. A chance for a first win in the home opener. Nemzer will get her first dose playing in front of “The Crew” at Ludwig Field Thursday. Spending two weeks on the road is not easy for any team, and Nemzer spoke about her team’s excitement to play in front of the Maryland faithful.

“To be able to have their friends and family watch them I know will be very exciting for [the players] on Thursday night,” she said.

3. This is the first of back-to-back home games in a matter of days. The Terps will be right back at Ludwig Field Sunday afternoon for a matinee matchup against George Mason at 1 p.m. The Terps faced off against the Patriots last season away from College Park and cruised to a 2-0 victory.