Maryland women’s soccer (3-2-4) suffered its second loss of the season last Friday, taking a 4-0 beating courtesy of then-No. 6 Penn State.
The Terps were outshot 25-2, and the Nittany Lions put the game away with three goals in the second half.
Maryland will look to rebound Thursday against Purdue. The Terps beat the Boilermakers in their final game of the season last year, 3-1.
The match is set for Thursday at 7 p.m. and will be streamed on Big Ten Plus.
Purdue Boilermakers (3-6, 0-1 Big Ten)
2022 record: 3-11-3 (0-7-3 Big Ten)
In his ninth season at Purdue, head coach Drew Roff has been trying to bridge the gap between the old and new eras of Boilermakers soccer. In 2021, the team had its second-best record in program history while clinching an NCAA Tournament berth. But a new era was ushered in last year as the team welcomed a top-20 recruiting class.
Although last season did not go as planned, Roff hopes to develop some of the promising young players this season.
Players to watch
Kayla Budish, sophomore forward, No. 24 — The former Wisconsin Gatorade Player of the Year is off to roaring start this season. Budish has three goals and two assists through nine games, nearly equaling the four goals and two assists she had last year.
Emily Mathews, senior midfielder, No. 10 — Mathews has been a key cog in Purdue’s midfield for a couple of years now. An All-Big Ten first-team selection in 2021, Mathews has four assists already this season, which ranks seventh in the conference.
Gracie Dunaway, junior midfielder/forward, No. 2 — Dunaway is one of two Boilermakers with at least three goals, and leads the team with 22 shot attempts.
Scoring. While their record might not show it, the Boilermakers have shown the potential to run up the scoresheet. In its first two games of the season, Purdue outscored Iona and Valparaiso by a combined 12-1.
A weak defense. Through nine games, the Boilermakers have allowed 1.67 goals per game, the worst mark in the Big Ten. Also, they’ve been outscored 13-3 in their last six games. Despite that, goalie Charlotte Cyr has averaged 2.89 saves per game, which ranks sixth in the conference.
Three things to watch
1. Can the Terps bounce back against a weaker opponent? After Maryland lost to Florida early in the season, it drew its next four matches. If the Terps don’t find a way to quickly shake off their tough loss, it would be demoralizing as Big Ten play continues on.
2. Will the defense help Beardsley? Against Penn State, the Terps gave up a staggering 27 shots. Liz Beardsley was sensational with nine saves, but they did not change the outcome. Against an easier opponent, it will be crucial for Maryland’s back line to step up and redeem itself.
3. Can the goal production return? Before being shut out by the Nittany Lions, Maryland had been on a good run of goal-scoring, with four goals in its previous three games. The Terps will look to regain that offensive quality at Ludwig Field on Thursday.