The Maryland women’s soccer offensive struggles finally came to an end on Friday night, as the attack exploded in a 4-0 win over Iowa.
The goals came from forwards Jarena Harmon and Alyssa Poarch and midfielder Darby Moore, and all four were scored in the second half. Maryland again was able to win the shot battle as well, outshooting Iowa 15-11 while getting five of those shots on goal. The Terps also held a 6-2 edge in corners and a 6-1 advantage in saves.
Chances were hard to come by in the early going, as neither team could string together the right passes to get the ball on goal through most of the first half. Loren Sefcik was able to notch Maryland’s the first shot of the night in the sixth minute, controlling a cross from Alyssa Poarch just inside the box to put the ball towards the goal, but was caught by Iowa’s goalkeeper.
Aside from that one chance, Iowa was able to stifle the Terps attack for the rest of the half. Maryland was able to register three more shots, but none really threatened the Iowa defense.
Although Maryland’s defense played relatively well in the first half, Rachel Egyed was still tested in the first 45. The senior goalkeeper faced seven shots from the Iowa attack, having to make saves on three of those attempts, including a few where she had to collide with a streaking forward to keep the ball out of the net.
By the time the first-half horn sounded, neither team had figured the other out yet, and the teams went to halftime tied 0-0.
It didn’t take long into the second half for Jarena Harmon to make her impact on the game, as the senior forward was able to break the tie in the 51st minute of play with her fourth goal of the season. The Iowa goalkeeper misjudged a ball played high in the air into the box by defender Adalee Broadbent, causing the ball to bounce over her head where Harmon was in position to put it in the net.
She wasn’t done either, as just eight minutes later, she put away her second goal of the game to make the score 2-0. After Maryland was awarded a free kick just inside Iowa territory, midfielder Hope Lewandoski played the ball into a pile of bodies in the box, where it deflected backwards to an open Harmon who was able to tuck it inside the right goalpost.
Things kept rolling for the Maryland offense after that as well, as an incredible Darby Moore goal in the 72nd minute put the score at 3-0. Holding the ball about 40 yards away from goal, Moore looked as though she was trying to play the ball in to a teammate in the box, but the ball sort of hung in the air and snuck over the head of the goalkeeper.
From that point on, Maryland was able to take advantage of an unraveling Iowa defense and control possession for the rest of the match, eventually resulting in a fourth goal from redshirt freshman Alyssa Poarch. As Sefcik sprinted down the center of the field towards the goal, she was able to find Poarch filling the lane to her left, where she was able to blast the ball at the goalkeeper, deflecting off her shoulder and into the goal.
The Terps will take on Nebraska at 1 p.m. ET Sunday in College Park.
Three things to know
- Maryland’s offense had its best performance of the season. In Maryland’s last five games, the attack had not been able to score more than one goal in any game. Friday night, the Terps reached a new season high with four goals, which could be huge for a unit that’s struggled so far this season.
- Maryland is undefeated at Ludwig Field. In the Terps’ four home games this season, they are 2-0-2, with an 8-2 goal differential in those games. With two more important conference games coming up against Nebraska and Rutgers, Maryland will need to continue to defend home turf to continue its strong start in the Big Ten.
- Rachel Egyed had another stellar game. Although Harmon and Moore were the obvious stars, the play of Egyed shouldn’t be discounted by any means. This game marked her third clean sheet of the season, and she had to make seven saves and endure a few collisions in the process. Maryland’s had success with its goalkeeping all season, and it doesn’t appear that success is going anywhere.