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Maryland women’s soccer at No. 6 Penn State preview

The Terps start Big Ten play against the conference title favorites.

Maryland faces one of its toughest tests of the season against Penn State.
Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics.

Maryland women’s soccer (3-1-4) ended its non-conference slate Sunday with a 1-0 win over Binghamton, extending its winning streak to three games.

The Terps started off slow, but ramped up their aggression in the second half, eventually earning a penalty in the 82nd minute. Ava Morales made no mistake, scoring the game-winning goal.

The Terps now begin Big Ten play, during which they finished 3-7 last season. They’ll begin this year’s slate on the road against No. 6 Penn State.

The match is set for Friday at 6 p.m. and will be streamed on Big Ten Plus.

No. 6 Penn State (6-0-1, 0-0 Big Ten)

2022 record: 15-5-3 (5-3-2 Big Ten)

Head coach Erica Dambach is a proven winner. She won gold as part of the U.S. Women’s National Team staff at the 2011 World Cup, and won a national championship with the Nittany Lions in 2015. She has been at the program’s helm for 15 years, leading it to NCAA Tournament appearances each year.

Last season, Penn State won the Big Ten Tournament before losing in the third round of the NCAA Tournament. The Nittany Lions are undefeated through seven games this season, and are deservedly the highest-ranked Big Ten team.

Players to watch

Mieke Schiemann, junior defender, No. 25 – Schiemann had a three-goal, six-assist campaign last season, and the reigning All-Big Ten third-team selection has three goals — two of which are game-winners — this season.

Kaitlyn MacBean, redshirt junior forward, No. 14 – Coming off a season during which she was named to the All-Big Ten freshman team, MacBean already has two game-winning goals for the Nittany Lions this year.

Payton Linnehan, fifth-year senior forward, No. 12 – Linnehan is Penn State’s offensive focal point, leading the team with five points.


Clinical attacking play. There has not been one standout attacking player for the Nittany Lions, but as a unit, their attacking play has been nothing short of amazing. They average a Big Ten-best 7.9 points per game this season and average 2.7 goals per game, which is fourth-best in the conference.


Lacking a standout goalscorer. While the Nittany Lions have been a well-rounded offensive team, no player has more than three goals on the season. With no person standing out among the bunch, deciding who to turn to in late-game situations could be tricky.

Three things to watch

1. Clean sheet streak. It’s no secret that the Terps’ back line has been the driving force in keeping games close all season long. Maryland is currently tied for the Big Ten lead in shutouts this year, holding five of its eight opponents without a goal. But with conference play on tap, will the defense hold up against stiffer competition?

2. Will Morales start? Morales has been on a heater of late, scoring three goals in her last three games. She’s been in and out of the starting lineup to start the season, but with competition amongst the forwards, it’ll be interesting to see if she will remain there.

3. Has Maryland developed enough chemistry? Maryland started the season with eight new players in its starting 11. The lack of chemistry was apparent, with the team failing to win any of its first five matches. Now, riding a three-match win streak, have the Terps formed a solid foundation that can produce results in conference play?