Maryland women’s soccer ended its season with a whimper, losing 6-0 to No. 11 Minnesota Wednesday night in Minneapolis.
The Terps dropped their ninth straight and will finish the season 3-15-1 (1-10 in Big Ten play). Minnesota improved to 13-3-3, and clinched a share of the Big Ten title.
The Gophers absolutely dominated Maryland. They easily controlled possession, and outshot Maryland 36-4. After showing some lapses on defense last Friday against Iowa, the Terps’ backline regressed to its early-season form and things snowballed.
The Gophers showed more will than Maryland, beating defenders to 50-50 balls and finishing plays around the net. The Terps also allowed Minnesota to get some wide open looks on goal. Head coach Ray Leone pulled Rachel Egyed for Katelyn Jensen at halftime, but it didn’t matter.
Maryland’s offense was nonexistent. The Terps only maintained possession during a few counter attacks in the first half. It looked for Jarena Harmon, but she kept being called offsides.
Minnesota came in to the game with a 235 minute scoreless streak, but they scored just five minutes into this game.
Josee Stiever had the goal, finishing a nice pass from Julianna Gernes with her right foot. Gernes sent the ball into the box from the left flank, and Stiever just got past Niven Hegeman to get in position for the goal.
The Gophers did not let up and continued to attack for the rest of the half. Gernes almost had a goal herself in the 13th minute, but Egyed made a diving save and blocked the ball. They had a great chance on a corner kick a few minutes later, but Darby Moore headed the ball away just before it crossed the goal line.
After knocking on the door for the whole half, Minnesota doubled their lead in the 40th minute. April Bockin sent a pass to Sydney Squires from midfield, and Madison Turner and Jlon Flippens both tried to deflect it, leaving Squires wide open. Egyed was forced to come out of the goal to make a play on the ball, and Squires kicked it past her to give the Gophers a 2-0 lead.
Jensen checked in to start the second half, but nothing changed. Nikki Albrecht scored just two minutes into the half to extend the lead to 3-0. Molly Fielder sent it across the box, and Albrecht came charging through the box unmarked.
Egyed, who’s generally a more aggressive goalkeeper, might have come out of the box to scoop up the ball, but Jensen was more tentative and Albrecht blasted it past her.
Despite being up 3-0, Minnesota didn’t stop attacking. Kellie McGahn chipped the ball over Jensen into the net to extend the lead to 4-0 in the 66th minute. But the Gophers still weren’t done.
In the 72nd minute Squires scored her second goal of the game after the defense left her wide open. Five minutes later Hope Gouterman tackled Tori Burnett in the box, and Maya Rajacich scored on the ensuing penalty kick.
When it was all over, Maryland had suffered its worst loss since 2004.
Three things to know
- The Terps saved their worst for last: All of Maryland’s struggles coalesced together tonight, resulting in one ugly mess of a game. The Terps generated no offense, and their defense was awful. Losing this game was expected, but Leone probably didn’t imagine the season ending like this.
- The season is over: This might have been the worst season in the history of Maryland women’s soccer. The 15 losses are the most in a season in program history, and the three wins are the fewest since 1989. The good news is they can only go up from here.
- This team has a lot of questions to answer: Most of the roster is back, but this team still has a long way to go to be competitive in the Big Ten. Maryland did not score for 551 minutes to end the season, and the defense wilted tonight after being solid in the final month. This team needs to find a way to be strong on both sides of the ball in the same game if they want to take the next step next season.
Author’s note: I’ll have a season recap up soon, where I’ll elaborate on the final thing to know. For those who read my recaps, thanks for following along this season.