Maryland women’s soccer kept it close, but couldn’t slow down the Rutgers attack on Sunday, losing 2-1 in overtime.
The game was scoreless until late in the second half, when Rutgers scored with just over 10 minutes left. Maryland (3-5-3, 1-2 Big Ten) equalized in the 87th minute, only to lose in the first minute of sudden death.
Rutgers, which moved to 6-1-3 with the win, looked like the better team for most of the first half, creating chances from all over the final third with relative ease. By the end of the half, Rutgers had produced seven shots with four being on goal, compared to Maryland’s one total and zero on goal. It was a busy half for goalkeeper Rachel Egyed, though, having to make five saves in the early going.
The Terp offense was stifled for the better part of the first 45 minutes, as they were able to get the ball past midfield and into Rutgers territory, but the Rutgers defense cooly shut down any opportunity before it could develop. With Maryland’s attack still figuring things out and the defense holding its form against the Rutgers forwards, the teams went to the halftime break tied 0-0.
Maryland came out of the break looking better than it did previously, looking more creative in trying to generate attempts on goal. Of note, Mikayla Dayes nearly gave Maryland the lead singlehandedly, putting a ball on goal from 20 yards out, but it collided with the crossbar and fell harmlessly out of play.
Although Maryland was out-shooting Rutgers with close to 20 minutes left to play, the Scarlet Knights were able to get ahead 1-0 in the 79th minute. The ball was played into the box by forward Ali Amirah, where her running mate Nneka Moneme was able to settle it, and put it past Egyed to give Rutgers a late lead.
After allowing the late goal, the Terp attack was forced to scramble to try and find an equalizer before time expired. Just when it looked like Rutgers was going to be able to ride out the final minutes and walk away with the win, forward Anissa Mose put an ambitious shot on goal that was able to sneak past Rutgers’ goalkeeper to tie the game at 1-1 in the 87th minute. The ball was played in by Hope Lewandoski off a free kick from midfield, and after the ball was headed out of the box it fell to the feet of Mose, who put it right where it had to be to tie it at 1-1 and send the game to overtime.
Rutgers was able to get the job done in overtime, scoring the game winning goal just 56 seconds into the period. The goal was scored by Ali Amirah, who received a cross from outside the box from Kenie Wright and was able to control it and slot it in the left corner of the goal to end the game 2-1.
The Terps will be back on Thursday, as they travel for the first time in five games to meet Minnesota at 7 p.m. ET.
Three things to know
1. Maryland is at least scoring some goals. During non-conference play, Maryland’s attack was a major weakness. The team went scoreless in five different games, in really struggled to find opportunities in those games. Although they’re 1-2 so far in the Big Ten, they’ve scored in all three of their games, with the offense showing real improvement.
2. The Terps’’ head coach is encouraged by this performance. After the game, Ray Leone said that this game was the best his team had played all season. Although the Terps didn’t get the win, games like today where Maryland can hang in with good teams like Rutgers are a real testament to how much they’ve improved as a team—in the middle of the season, no less.
3. The Maryland defense also played well despite poor playing conditions. It was raining from start to finish at Ludwig Field, something that Leone said had an impact on the game. Aside from the occasions where Terp defenders lost their footing due to the rain, Maryland’s ability to hold Rutgers to one goal in regulation, as well as limiting the Scarlet Knights to only four shots in the second half, is deserving of some credit.