Not even 10 minutes after tying the game, Wisconsin graduate midfielder Natlaie Viggiano sent a rocket into the top corner of the net, giving the 23rd-ranked Badgers a 2-1 lead in the 64th minute.
For the third straight game, Maryland women’s soccer saw a positive result evaporate in the second half, as the Terps’ 1-0 lead quickly turned into a 2-1 defeat in Madison, Wisconsin on Thursday night.
This is the third consecutive loss for the Terps, all of which they were in a position to come away with a positive result.
After allowing four goals in its past two games, Maryland’s defense looked like it was at its best yet again early on, stifling a Badgers attack early on that came into tonight with 25 goals through nine games.
But a familiar collapse hit the Terps hard again Thursday, which has now allowed six second-half goals in their past three games.
Content to let Wisconsin play with the ball, Maryland head coach Meghan Ryan Nemzer’s side allowed essentially no dangerous opportunities from near or inside the box early on.
In the first half, Maryland held Wisconsin to zero shots on goal, a feat only Iowa and Butler have been able to accomplish against the Badgers this season.
While Maryland’s attack wasn’t firing on all cylinders by any means either, it was opportunistic.
The Terps only had two shots in the opening 45 minutes, but the first one found its way into the back of the net.
Ten minutes in, senior midfielder Mia Isaac found senior striker Alina Stahl in open space.
Stahl, whose four goals leads Maryland, danced her way through a couple of defenders before sliding the ball past Wisconsin goalkeeper Erin McKinney.
The Terps continued to frustrate the Badgers in the opening half, slowly starting to take the play to the 23rd ranked team in the nation.
Junior midfielder Catherine DeRosa had her chance to net her first goal of the season in the 24th minute, but her curling shot from distance was just steered aside by McKinney.
Headed into the break, Maryland seemingly had Wisconsin on the ropes, with a great chance to end Wisconsin’s six-game winning streak.
But the Badgers have a reputation as an explosive second-half team, and after Thursday night have scored 11 second-half goals in their last five games.
As the second-half whistle blew, it was clear that Wisconsin was going to be firing away.
Frankly, Maryland just didn’t have enough to withstand the push from a team that after Thursday night’s win moved into sole possession of first place in the Big Ten.
Wisconsin registered just two second-half shots, but dominated in possession, keeping the Terps on their heels.
In the 54th minute, the Badgers received their third corner of the evening, and this one leveled the score.
Freshman attacker Rylee Howard, left alone in the box with space, was able to get a touch from the delivery and place it into the top of the net.
Wisconsin continued to apply the pressure, and Viggiano’s beautiful goal in the 64th minute gave the home side a well-deserved lead.
The Terps simply couldn’t get the ball out of their own half for most of the second half, before pushing the game into Wisconsin’s end in the last 10 minutes.
An 86th minute free kick by junior midfielder Sydney Urban gave the Terps the first of their late looks to tie the game, but her shot kept on rising.
Stahl looked like she was going to notch a draw for the Terps with two minutes to play, as her low drive from inside the box gave McKinney trouble, but Maryland’s many players inside the box couldn’t deliver on the rebound.
WIth Thursday’s loss, the Terps fell to 2-4-5 overall and 1-3 in Big Ten play.
Three things to know
1. Yet another difficult loss. Maryland has not lost a game by more than one goal this season, and it entered the second half tonight with a 1-0 lead. Just like their past two matchups, the Terps put forth a poor performance in the latter 45 minutes, en route to a 2-1 defeat. They let one slip away in Madison, and if that theme continues, Big Ten play will be a long road.
2. A chance to rebound at home. Although it’s starting to sound like a broken record, Maryland played well again, despite the loss. The Terps competed with a conference contender, but a 10-minute span saw their efforts be to no avail. They come back to College Park Sunday, when they’ll take on a Michigan State team that pulled off a shocking upset against Penn State Thursday night.
3. A ranked win drought lingers. It looked like the Terps had a chance to end a three-year-and-one-day stretch without a win against a ranked opponent, but their disciplined and detailed display of the first half was nowhere to be seen later on.