clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Rachel Egyed offered Maryland women’s soccer a steady presence in a roller coaster 2017

The Terps could always rely on their junior goalkeeper.

Gabe Fernandez/Testudo Times

In Maryland women’s soccer’s final game of the season, the Terps were at risk of going down two goals over halfway into the game when Purdue earned a penalty kick. For a team that hadn’t scored in five previous games, a two-goal deficit would’ve been a back breaker.

Instead, redshirt junior goalkeeper Rachel Egyed made a diving save to keep the score 1-0.

That save was just business as usual for Egyed, who was a rock for the Terps this year. Through the injuries and offensive struggles, the junior continued to shine and keep her team in game to the best she could.

“She’s as steady as they go,” head coach Ray Leone said. “She’s just overall a confident, fantastic [and] experienced player”

Egyed began her 2016 season as part of a three-person goalkeeper rotation before taking over as the full-time starter near the end of the year. This season, she spent the entire season as Maryland’s unquestioned goalkeeper, starting 17 of 18 games, ultimately earning a Third-Team All-Big Ten award.

In both seasons, Egyed had little offensive support, as the Terps finished each season on a six-game scoreless streak. Despite that, she knows how her performance in net could ignite the offense to get something going.

“I know that the energy starts from the back, it starts from me,” she said. “I may as well take it upon myself because if nobody else does, we need somebody to.”

When the team struggled, Egyed picked it up, making big save after big save. She consistently made the type of plays other players could feed off, both on the field and on the sideline.

“She gives us that momentum, that adrenaline,” sophomore midfielder Jlon Flippens said. “Her making a great save, per usual, gives us that energy boost that we sometimes need running back and forth constantly.”

While the offense was the weak link of the season, the defensive unit played inconsistently as well. However, Egyed’s strong play often masked mistakes and missed assignments, giving her team a greater margin for error on the defensive end of the field.

Yet, Egyed believes saving a particular play from disaster can motivate a defender to do better and play smarter next time around.

“You could tell right away, whether it was somebody’s screw-up or not, you could just tell that they want to work that much harder afterwards to not let that happen again and not put us in that kind of a situation,” she said.

As Ray Leone continues to rebuild this program, he has to lean on his more experienced players to guide the newcomers. With leaders like Madison Turner, Chelsea Jackson and Hope Gouterman leaving, Egyed will continue to climb as one of those players to whom newcomers look.

“I think we all take the way Rachel approaches the game and I think we all channel that through each line,” freshman forward Sydney Staier said. “Rachel starts it and it just builds.”

In a turbulent season, Egyed’s performance became one of the lone areas where Leone knew what he was getting every single day. Her ability to make diving save after diving save allowed Maryland to compete with some of the best teams in the Big Ten, despite there being a large talent gap. And for the rest of the players on the team, not having to worry about the goalkeeper was a confidence booster.

“It’s amazing to have somebody like her back there,” Gouterman said. “Knowing that she has my back, along with the four defenders in front of her, is huge. [Egyed] putting her body on the line is everything you want and more.”