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Maryland women’s soccer can’t break through in scoreless draw with Purdue

The Terps outshot the Boilermakers by 10 but couldn’t find the back of the net.

Maryland moved to 0-1-1 in Big Ten games this season.
Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics.

After a tough loss to Penn State on the road, Maryland women’s soccer searched for a positive result at home against Purdue to regain momentum as conference play heats up.

Instead, the Terps found themselves in a closely contested game with under 10 minutes remaining.

Maryland goalkeeper Liz Beardsley had to make some huge decisions in crunch time, coming off her line in the 83rd minute to make a diving save. Right after, she watched a ball sail by her and smack the crossbar on a corner.

Despite outshooting Purdue, 17-7 — the second time this season in which Maryland outshot its opponent by ten or more and failed to win— the Terps couldn’t finish any of their opportunities in a scoreless draw.

“I think we’re kind of looking for the perfect shot, like if we have a little bit of space we have to get our shots off,” Maryland midfielder Lauren Wrigley said.

Yet again, the Terps’ back line played out of its skin for 90 minutes. It helped Maryland (3-2-5) record its sixth shutout of the season in the eighth game in which it did not surrender a goal in the first half. Maryland is yet to lose this season when doing keeping an opponent scoreless through 45 minutes.

But Maryland’s lack of execution on offense was also on display.

The Terps started the game on the front foot, with Purdue (3-6-1) letting them have the majority of possession in the attacking half, instead looking to create opportunities on the counter-attack.

That tactic from the Boilermakers did not pay dividends in the first half, as the Terps’ defense showed its class yet again. Halle Johnson and Kennedy Bell stood out by intercepting long balls and making timely tackles, limiting Purdue to no shots in the period.

Head coach Meghan Ryan Nemzer said the team had seen the counter attacking from Purdue on film, and went into the game with an objective to limit it.

Maryland’s Peyton Bernard had the best opportunity early, weaving through defenders in the third minute before lashing a shot from outside the box that was tapped over the goal by Purdue goalkeeper Kailey Kimball.

Kimball faced pressure from the start. The Terps had 10 shots in the first half, and almost went ahead in the 37th minute when a shot by Lisa McIntyre was parried for a corner kick, which resulted in a wild scramble at the net. McIntyre had the first crack at goal, but her shot was deflected and landed at the feet of Bernard, whose attempt hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced out.

After surviving the first half, Purdue became the aggressor in the second half. The Boilermakers looked much sharper in the final 45 minutes, managing six shots and constantly applying pressure despite not scoring.

Purdue had multiple looks at a late winner, but wasn’t able to come away with anything, as Maryland stood strong against three corners in the final 10 minutes.

“We talk about standing tall in those last 10 minutes, I thought they did that,” Nemzer said, “But I thought that we deserved a win tonight.”

Three things to know

1. Maryland’s defense responded. Against Penn State, Maryland’s defensive structure imploded, allowing 25 shots to the top team in the Big Ten. The Terps bounced back Thursday night, suffocating the Boilermakers’ attack and limiting them to just a single shot on goal.

2. The Terps failed to find the back of the net again. Thursday marked the second straight game in which Maryland failed to score, which ties its longest streak of the season. The team scored in three straight games before this recent spell.

3. When will the conference wins come? The Terps have yet to score a goal in their first two conference games, and Purdue entered Thursday’s game with the worst record in the conference.

With Ohio State coming to College Park on Sunday and games against Michigan State and No. 19 Michigan looming next week, the Terps have a tough slate ahead.