clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Maryland women’s soccer vs. Nebraska preview

The Terps take on Nebraska for the first time under coach Ray Leone.

Maryland women’s soccer Photo by Maryland Athletics

After two tough home games, Maryland women's soccer is back on the road as it travels to Lincoln to face Nebraska. The Cornhuskers have been inconsistent of late, going 2-1-2 in their last five games.

The last time these two teams played, Nebraska won 1-0 in College Park. But that was in October of 2015 under Jonathan Morgan, so this will be Ray Leone’s first game against Nebraska as Maryland’s coach.

First kick is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 5 at 8 p.m. ET, and the Big Ten Network will have the broadcast.

Nebraska Cornhuskers (7-3-2, 1-1-2 Big Ten)

2016 record: 11-6-5, 5-3-3 Big Ten

Head coach John Walker. Walker has spent the last 23 seasons leading Nebraska’s team with success. Since 1994, he has a .667 winning percentage and stands 20th in wins among active coaches. Under Walker’s watch, Nebraska has made 12 NCAA Tournament, and it’s won five Big 12 tournament titles and one Big Ten tournament title.

Players to know

Elyse Huber, sophomore, forward, No. 26. This has been a breakout for Huber, as she leads the teams in goals with six and points with 13. She also sports a .722 shot-on-goal percentage, which leads the team among players with at least two shots on goal. Her three game-winning goals this season is tied for 28th in the country.

Haley Hanson, senior, midfielder, No. 8. For the past four seasons, Hanson has been a staple of Nebraska’s offense. The senior has played in 68 and started 65 games in her Cornhusker career, including starting every game since 2015. This year, Hanson is second on the team in both goals and points with five and 12, respectively.

Alli Peterson, senior, midfielder/defender, No. 22. Like Hanson, Peterson is one of Nebraska’s most reliable players. Since 2015, she’s started 58 of the 62 games she’s played in, including each of the 12 games this season. She also leads the team in minutes in 2017, playing every minute of every game.

Strength

Offense. Through 12 games, Nebraska has scored three goals six times, including twice in the last five games. Additionally, the Cornhuskers have scored 22 goals this season, tied for 55th in the country, and they average 16.17 shots per game, tied for 51st in the country. While it isn’t the best of the best, Nebraska’s offense is its most impactful unit.

Weakness

Fouls. Despite its offensive success, Nebraska has played very physical and aggressive this season, almost to a fault. The Cornhuskers are averaging 8.67 fouls per game, which stands tied for No. 146 in the country. They have also drawn five yellow cards this season, and are coming off a game in which they committed 18 fouls.

Three things to watch

  1. Can Maryland score first? In each of the last two games, the Terps fell behind 2-0 in the first half, combining to be outscored 4-1 in the first 45 minutes. While this team has shown the ability to come back, the more it has to come from behind, the harder it gets. For Maryland to gain some momentum this season, it has to score and first and put pressure on the opponent like it was doing in non-conference play.
  2. What lineup does Ray Leone use? Over the last two games, midfielders Jlon Flippens and Madison Turner have both played significant minutes on defense despite the team struggling offensively. Leone’s lineup configurations have changed all season, and that is sure to continue as Maryland looks to find some consistency on offense.
  3. What will Jarena Harmon’s impact be? The forward started her first game in two weeks on Sunday, but only played 43 total minutes. Maryland needs her to work her way back to full strength as she is arguably its best healthy offensive player. Since the Terps’ offense has been very freshman-heavy of late, adding a veteran is sure to add some stability to the unit.