After a thrilling 2-1 overtime victory over Gardner-Webb, Maryland women’s soccer is back at it two days later in a match against Furman. With a win, the Terps would start 4-0 for the first time since 2013, which was also the last time they were ranked to start a season and for consecutive weeks.
The match is scheduled for an early start at 11 a.m. ET, and the game will be streamed here.
Furman Paladins (2-1)
2016 record: 13-5-1, 6-3 Southern
Head coach Andrew Burr. Burr has run the Furman program since the 2005 season, amassing a 164-74-20 record in that span. Under Burr’s watch, Furman has been to three NCAA Tournaments and won the Southern Conference three times.
Players to Watch
Molly Dwyer, senior, midfield/forward, No.6. Dwyer played in 19 games in 2016, leading the team in points with 25 and tying for the team lead in goals with 10. Among players with at least 10 shots in 2016, she lead the team converting on 23 percent of her shots. So far this season, Dwyer has a goal and two assists in three games.
Amanda Baker, sophomore, forward, No. 9. After a slow first season with Furman, Baker has already stepped her game up in 2017. She leads the team with four goals in three games this season after scoring only three times in 2016. Of those four goals, three came in Furman’s opener vs. USC Upstate.
Defense. Last season, Furman allowed one goal or less in 16 of the 19 games it played, even though the team never faced a Power 5 conference opponent. Additionally, goalkeeper Kellsey Weaver, who played in 14 games, only allowed four scores on 27 shots on goal. This year, Weaver has allowed three goals on five shots in 208 minutes of play.
Scheduling. It’s been two years since Furman has played a team in a Power 5 conference, doing so three times in 2015. The three teams the Paladins have played this year are USC Upstate, North Greenville and Presbyterian, so playing Maryland is certainly going to be a step up in competition.
Three things to watch
- Quick turnaround. Maryland is going from a 105-minute match Friday night to an early, Sunday morning match. While it isn’t anything Maryland isn’t used to, a 36-hour turnaround with both games on the road could take a toll, especially after a physical game against Gardner-Webb. This should be a good test of the Terps’ depth.
- How does Ray Leone use his goalkeepers? In a bit of a surprise, Maryland started Erin Seppi for the first half vs. Gardner-Webb before using Rachel Egyed in the second and overtime. Considering how well Egyed played at the end of 2016 and the start of this year, Leone probably won’t use a rotation unless Egyed struggles. However, this might be his way of getting his backup goalkeepers some work against mid-major opponents before Big Ten play picks up.
- Can the Terps score in the first half? Despite a 3-0 record, Maryland hasn’t scored in the first 45 minutes yet. Since Maryland had a bunch of scoring chances that it couldn’t convert against Gardner-Webb, there are certainly encouraging signs that Maryland will come out quicker than it did in the first two games.