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Maryland women’s soccer falls to Ohio State, 1-0, after last-minute own goal

Ohio State pulled ahead with less than a minute to go.

Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics.

In the final moments of Sunday’s game, Maryland women’s soccer needed one last stop as Ohio State pushed into the attacking third.

Buckeyes midfielder Kine Flotre took a shot, which required a diving save from Liz Beardsley, and then Eden White cleared a rebound attempt off the line.

The ball found its way back to Ohio State, though, as Christin Baumbick nailed it right at defender Katie Coyle. Coyle attempted to hit the shot and shanked it, sending the ball past Beardsley into the back of the net for a goal.

The stunning last-minute goal was the only score of the game, as Maryland fell to Ohio State, 1-0.

The Terps (3-3-5) are still winless in conference play.

Despite the scoreline, Maryland was lucky to not be down multiple goals in the second half, as Beardsley made nine saves in the game — seven of which came in the final 45 minutes.

In the 48th minute, she did well to stop a free kick from attacker Peyton McNamara, and less than 10 minutes later, Kailyn Dudukovich found herself all alone against Beardsley, but Maryland’s keeper once again came up big, quickly diving to her left to make the save in the dirt.

Maryland found itself on the counter attack for most of the game, letting Ohio State run while the Terps sat back. This tactic almost worked to a scoreless draw, but Ohio State’s 24th shot — the Terps had 10 — set up the decisive own goal.

Maryland head coach Meghan Ryan Nemzer still believed that the Terps did enough to win.

“I thought we executed the game plan,” she said. “On the attacking side, [we found] the space we wanted to get into, we just couldn’t put a few in the back of the net.”

It was the first game of the season that Nemzer gave star freshman Kennedy Bell license to play as a wingback. She spent the game vacillating between defending at the back and playing on the right wing.

But a few injuries during the game made it tough for the Terps to keep their formation intact, highlighted by midfielder Catherine DeRosa being forced to join the defense. Because of that, Bell stayed in a defensive role for parts of the second half.

DeRosa wouldn’t admit that the changes in formation had an effect on the result, saying, “I think everybody on this team has that mentality, whatever the team needs, we’re gonna do.”

Ohio State looked most comfortable in the wet conditions to start the game, controlling possession in the first 20 minutes and displaying some crisp passing in the attacking third.

This required the Terps to run most of their offense in transition, and it gave the forwards a chance to build chemistry and work on their link-up play. Forward Peyton Bernard looked comfortable on the ball, nearly landing a shot on target from outside the box in the 15th minute.

The Buckeyes were hunting for a go-ahead goal late in the game, taking eight shots in the final 10 minutes. They got their wish, as a self-inflicted wound gave Maryland its third loss of the season.

Three things to know

1. Another loss in conference play. In its first three games of conference play, Maryland lost two and drew one. This could be an indicator of a tough end of the season for the squad.

2. The formation changes made an impact. Maryland’s play style and positioning was discernibly different from the past few games. Fullbacks played in the back and up front, and midfielders looked more condensed in the middle of the field.

Nemzer mentioned that this play style could be seen in the future: “Possibly, yeah possibly,” she said.

3. Maryland’s defense held strong in the first half. Maryland’s defense continued to impress in the opening half. Sunday was the 11th game in which the Terps held their opponent scoreless in the opening half.

Despite being outshot in the period, 7-5, and conceding five corners, Beardsley and the defense stood tall early.