Despite being down 2-0 at halftime, Maryland women’s soccer fought back to force a 2-2 draw with No. 12 Wisconsin.
The draw ensures Maryland will finish with a better Big Ten record than it did last season. However, the Terps still haven’t beaten a ranked opponent since 2014.
After a slow start to the game for both teams, Wisconsin began to pressure Maryland’s defense and created more chances. Despite the Terps holding their own to start, the Badgers slowly broke down the defense and force it them to play perfectly on their end.
The pressure resulted in two Badger goals, both coming off the foot of Wisconsin’s best player, Dani Rhodes. The first goal was a rebound score after Rachel Egyed couldn’t handle a soft shot near the post, and Rhodes took advantage of the error. Three minutes later, Rhodes impressed with a top-shelf score going 1-on-1 with a Maryland defender, doubling the Wisconsin lead.
The Terps entered halftime in a 2-0 hole thanks to registering one shot on goal and getting outshot by four.
In the second half, Maryland had a good scoring chance with about 30 minutes remaining, but couldn’t take advantage of the breakaway chance. Krstec’s lack of speed highlighted how much the team misses Chelsea Jackson and Mikayla Dayes, since both of which have speed to challenge the defense that the rest of the team doesn’t.
However, not long after Krstec got Maryland on the board for the first time in two games. The freshman caught Wisconsin goalkeeper Caitlyn Clem playing too far out of the net, and Krstec scored from about 35 yards out for her first career goal to cut the deficit to one.
With momentum on its side for the first time in the game, Maryland began to regain its confidence.
Due to its pressure, Maryland gained a corner kick that would lead to the tying score. Jlon Flippens sent a beautiful chance to the net, and Jenna Surdick finished off a deflection as Clem once again veered too far out of the net. The junior’s first goal of the season was also the first time she scored as a Terp, as she last scored playing for Coastal Carolina in 2015.
Maryland and Wisconsin finished regulation playing fairly evenly. Both teams had chances, but neither could end the game in the first 90 minutes.
In the first overtime, the Maryland had slightly more scoring chances. While each team struggled to get anything consistent going offensively, Maryland had the only two shots in the first overtime and the only three corner kicks in those 10 minutes.
The second overtime saw Wisconsin take control of the game, as the Badgers had several chances to end it. However, Egyed and the Terps defense held strong to force a tie.
Maryland next plays Sunday, when Minnesota comes to College Park for an afternoon showdown. Game will begin at 1 p.m. ET.
Three Things to Know
- By inducing the draw, Maryland showed improvement. Down 2-0 to a ranked opponent, the Terps should be relatively happy with the result. Wisconsin is one of the best teams in the conference, but Maryland played the Badgers well for most of the game. This was a game the 2016 Terps lose easily, but the second half comeback shows how far this team has come in a year.
- Ray Leone continues to mix and match on offense. Maryland’s coach hasn’t stuck with a consistent lineup all season, and that continued against Wisconsin. Once again, Flippens played all over this season, and she helped anchor the defense today despite being listed as a midfielder. Meanwhile, Hope Lewandoski, who is second on the team in minutes, sat the entire second half while Krstec played 79 minutes despite averaging 33.8 minutes per game. Leone is trying to find the right combination of offense with the injuries piling up. Defensively, however, Leone has full trust in Hope Gouterman, Julia New and Alexis Hogarth, each of which played the entire game.
- Harmon is working her way back. With Jackson sidelined, Harmon is at least able to come off the bench. The forward played 12 minutes in regulation, split evenly between the end of the first and second halves, after playing 20 minutes last Sunday. While she isn’t 100 percent yet, she is getting healthier at the exact right time for this team.