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Maryland women’s soccer beats Illinois, 1-0, on Kate Waters’ late goal

The Terps have their first win in conference play this fall.

womens soccer Photo by Maryland Athletics

Despite missing three starting forwards, Maryland women’s soccer survived a tough road contest Thursday against Illinois, escaping with a 1-0 victory. The lone goal came off the foot of Kate Waters, a senior who was only making her second start of the season because of the injuries.

While the goal difference was only one, Maryland thoroughly outplayed Illinois. The Terps outshot the Fighting Illini 16-9, 10-5 in shots on goal, and out-corner-kicked them 9-3.

Maryland had two great chances in the first half, but neither resulted in a score. Early in the game, Hope Lewandoski beat the defenders and got a one-on-one breakaway chance. However, Illinois goalkeeper Jaelyn Cunningham got just enough of Lewandoski’s shot to deflect the ball wide right.

Later, Madison Turner created a chance out of nothing, weaving through defenders near the goal line to set up a scoring chance. When Jlon Flippens sent Turner’s pass towards the goal, the ball sailed just enough to hit the crossbar and deflect out.

In total, Maryland had seven first-half shots and four corner kicks, taking control of the first half after Illinois started strong.

Maryland’s second half was very similar to the first, as the Terps put pressure on the Illini but struggled to score. Turner had Maryland’s best chances as she shot wide right twice from the same spot in the goalie box.

Finally, with 6:40 remaining, Maryland found the back of the net for the first time in in two weeks. Waters sent a laser shot from outside the goalie box, and the ball clanked off the left post and into the net. The score was only Waters’ second in four years for the Terps, and it came at the perfect time for the Terps.

Illinois had one final chance, as the team was awarded a free kick with just nine seconds left. However, the Morgan Maroney shot landed in Rachel Egyed’s hands, giving Maryland the victory.

Maryland next has a quick turnaround, as the team heads to Evanston to play Northwestern on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.

Three Things to Know

  1. Maryland was very thin at forward. Chelsea Jackson and Jarena Harmon missed the game with injuries they sustained on Sunday, and that is on top of Mikayla Dayes being out for the year. Additionally, Dayes’ twin sister, Malikae, left with a leg injury of her own, fully testing Maryland’s depth up front.
  2. Hope Lewandoski stepped up. The freshman has played all over the field this season for the Terps, but she got extended playing time as a forward for the first time this year. While she finished the game with only one shot, she was busy in her 78 minutes on the field, filling in for some crucial upperclassmen. The midfielder continues to flash all over the field regardless of position, as she’s played all over the field, and Maryland needs her to continue to grow as the injuries continue to pile.
  3. This is Maryland’s first Big Ten win in exactly a year. The last time Maryland won a conference game, they defeated Illinois on Sept. 22, 2016 in College Park. That would be Maryland’s final victory of the season, but the Terps hope to build off this one in a way they struggled to do last season.