In its first Big Ten game of the year, Maryland women’s soccer couldn’t overcome injuries and a strong Rutgers team, leading to the Terps’ first loss of the season by a score of 2-0.
The first half was rough for Maryland, as it lost two important offensive players. First, Jarena Harmon limped off the field with a foot injury; then, 20 minutes later, Chelsea Jackson needed a cart to get off with a leg injury. Both injuries clearly affected the team, as Maryland’s offense sputtered as the game unfolded.
The best scoring chances for both teams in this half came in the first five minutes, as each team had an open shot in front of the goal. However, Harmon couldn’t convert and Rachel Egyed made a big kick save on the other end.
Most of the half was played in the middle of the field as there were only three registered shots on goal in the half. Still, the Terps went into half tied with Rutgers and with a chance to make some noise in the second.
Rutgers picked up its aggressiveness in the second half, spending the majority of the final 45 minutes in Maryland’s offensive zone. Between the physicality and Rutgers’ pressure, Maryland’s defense started to tire and its offense couldn’t get into any flow.
It took 65 minutes for someone to score, when a Maryland miscue led to a Rutgers goal. Defender Hope Gouterman scored an own goal after trying to head the ball on an attempted clear. The goal came after Rutgers continuously pressured Maryland in its own zone, ultimately resulting in the error.
About ten minutes later, Rutgers doubled its lead as Colby Ciarrocca snuck through the Terps defense and corralled a finished a one-time pass from Amriah Ali in front of the net. Maryland didn’t have any answers for Ciarrocca all game.
After allowing the two goals, Maryland’s offense slowly picked up as Rutgers’ played more conservative. However, the Terps couldn’t convert, making this the eight straight Rutgers’ shutout to start the season.
Maryland continues its Big Ten schedule with a trip to Illinois on Friday. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET.
Three things to know
- Maryland’s injuries continue to mount. Jackson and Harmon’s injuries early hurt Maryland’s offense tremendously as neither could return to the game. Additionally, Mikayla Dayes missed her third straight game despite the nine-day layoff. The freshman hasn’t played since Aug. 31, so it’s fair to wonder if her injury is more significant than originally thought.
- Rachel Egyed was Maryland’s best player. In fact, it wasn’t even close. The Terps’ goalkeeper kept her team in this game with a few tough saves, ending with six in total. Through eight games, Egyed has been Maryland’s most dependable player, and she may be the team’s most important player going forward.
- While Maryland showed improvement, it still isn’t near the top teams in the conference. The Terps’ undefeated start was a great sign for the program, but this game showed how far they still have to go against a team that is constantly at the top of the conference. For the first time this year, Maryland wasn’t the best team on the field, so Maryland will now need to adjust to that being the case more often.