Maryland women’s soccer started its 2018 campaign off on the right track on Thursday, beating William & Mary 2-1 at the James Madison Invitational in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Senior Jarena Harmon scored both goals for the Terps, doubling her season scoring total from 2017. She scored in the fifth minute to give Maryland an early lead, then broke the tie with a goal in the 88th minute.
Maryland closed last season winless in its last nine games and was shut out in its last six contests. Both of those streaks are gone to start the new season, as is the scoring drought of over 640 minutes.
The Terps got off to a hot start early, scoring the season’s first goal just five minutes into the game. Jarena Harmon was credited with the goal off of a pretty cross from Hope Lewandowski, which ended the scoring drought that carried over from last season.
William & Mary didn’t take long to respond, though, putting one past Maryland goalkeeper Erin Seppi two minutes after Harmon’s goal, knotting the score at 1-1.
The teams remained tied for next 80 minutes, staying neck and neck shot-wise throughout the match. Maryland finally broke through at the 87-minute mark, with Harmon again doing the scoring to put the Terps ahead late. Also of note, Alyssa Poarch set up the goal for Harmon, having her shot on goal deflect right to Harmon for an open look, giving the redshirt freshman an assist in her collegiate debut.
Both teams appeared evenly matched throughout the game, as both teams ended the game tied for total shots and saves, although Maryland won the shot-on-goal battle 5-4. Erin Seppi made three saves in place of 2017 All-Big-Ten team member Rachel Egyed, while junior Darby Moore paced the team in total shots with three.
Maryland will play their second and final game of the JMU Invitational on Sunday against James Madison at 2 p.m. ET.
Three things to know
- Maryland continues its non-conference success. Last season, Maryland went 6-0-1 in non-conference play, and it kept that trend going into 2018. The Big Ten schedule will likely be difficult again, so taking care of the non-conference opponents will be important.
- Jarena Harmon could be in for a big season. Last year, Maryland’s leading goal scorer for the season was Mikayla Dayes with three goals. Harmon would have been second on that list after just this one game. Although Harmon only had one goal in 2017, her strong performance in game one will hopefully lead to more success going forward.
- Two-thirds of the 27 active players on the roster got playing time. As was made evident by the minute distribution from last season, Coach Ray Leone likes to spread out playing time across almost his entire roster, and this first game of 2018 was no different. The 18-player rotation he used paid off, as substitute Alyssa Poarch ended up being the difference maker in the match.