Maryland women’s soccer is coming off its biggest win of the season after downing Illinois 6-2 on Sunday, setting a record for the program’s most goals ever scored against a conference opponent.
“Putting away almost every opportunity we got was a really good feeling, especially continuing into the rest of the Big Ten,” midfielder Darby Moore said.
Five different players tallied a point against Illinois for the Terrapins, three of which scored their first goal of the season. Defender Adalee Broadbent netted two on the day, the first goals of her career. Forward Alyssa Poarch also scored multiple goals, her team-leading seventh and eighth of the year.
“That’s what happens when our team comes out to play,” defender Julia New said. “It doesn’t matter who we’re playing against — the conditions on the field. It’s just what we can bring when we work together.”
The Terrapins earned their seventh victory in the rout, matching the highest win total in the Ray Leone era. Six games remain in the regular season, and the next two will be played on the road. Maryland currently sits in fifth place in the conference rankings — the top eight teams make the conference tournament, a feat that the team has never achieved since joining Big Ten.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-8-2, 2-4 Big Ten)
2018 record: 9-7-5 (5-3-3)
The Cornhuskers are coming off a Big Ten semifinal appearance a season ago, but seem to have cooled off in 2019. Nebraska won just one out of seven games in nonconference with the six losses all in a row.
The team has eight games this year without a goal, and 12 total scores with four coming in one game. A game plan that is built around the attack hasn’t quite panned out as the shots have yet to fall this year.
Players to know
Sinclaire Miramontez, senior defender No. 5 - Miramontez is tied for a team-high two goals on the year, matching her total from her junior campaign. The lead returning scorer, Savanah Uveges, went down with an injury four games into the season after posting eight goals in 2018, leaving an offense void for Miramontez.
Aubrei Corder, senior goalkeeper No. 25 - The last line of defense for the Cornhuskers has allowed an average of 1.36 goals this year, slightly higher than the 1.28 average in the 2018 season. Corder has been a staple in the Nebraska lineup since stepping on campus four years ago. She earned Third-Team All-Big Ten in her sophomore campaign.
Brenna Ochoa, senior midfielder No. 28 - Ochoa has logged the most minutes on the team through the first half of the season, with a goal and an assist on her stat line. She also ranks second for the Cornhuskers in shots with 19. The Omaha, Nebraska, native has been effective at keeping the pressure up and intensity high on her team’s attack.
Three things to know
1. Can Maryland stay healthy? Coming down the final stretch of the season, it is essential that the Terrapins can stay on the field and off the sidelines. Starting goalkeeper Erin Seppi missed the team’s last two contests due to sickness, and defender Niven Hegeman was knocked out with an ACL tear early in the season. The wear-and-tear is looking to take shape in the home stretch of the regular season, and Maryland needs to stay healthy if it wants to make a postseason berth.
“We have taken a couple this hits this season, and we’ve been able to move past every single one of them,” Moore said. “We’ve shown that not only among each other, but also in our games.”
2. Who wins the attack? Both Maryland and Nebraska play with the style of high pressure and a healthy amount of shots. The Terrapins peg themselves as successful when getting in front early, as they have yet to lose this year when putting the first score on the board. A fast pace game on Friday will be a test for Maryland’s endurance on the defensive side of the ball as Nebraska is sure to be aggressive on the ball.
“We have to get sharp on the ball,” head coach Ray Leone said. “Nebraska, the way they defend and the way they press you is unbelievable.”
3. Can the Terrapins get it done on the road? After breaking the streak of over 650 days without a road victory, Maryland now faces four away games in its final six matchups of the season. With two games on the road this weekend, the Terrapins will need to figure things out away from College Park as an appearance in the conference tournament will most likely not be played on Ludwig Field.
“We have to bring our home mentalities to the [away] games,” Leone said. “We just have to embrace it and welcome the challenge. We have taken a couple this hits this season, and we’ve been able to move past every single one of them. We’ve shown that not only among each other, but also in our games.”