Maryland women's soccer entered this weekend’s games with three wins and two losses in Big Ten play, looking like it could finally turn a corner in the conference under head coach Ray Leone.
A Friday night loss to Nebraska dampened that slightly, but the Terps were hoping to get back on track against Iowa Sunday. Instead, they were shut out for the second consecutive game, falling 4-0 to the Hawkeyes.
With seven shots in the first half, three of which were on goal, an aggressive Iowa team made its objective to win clear early on. The Hawkeyes continued to stay on top in the second half, pouring eight shots on goal.
The pressure paid off. Driving through the defending Terps, Hawkeye forward Olivia Fiegel passed the ball to midfielder Isabella Blackman, who ripped a shot from just outside the box. The shot in the 22nd minute escaped Maryland goal keeper Erin Seppi’s hands into the upper right corner for the first goal of the game.
Later in the 32nd minute, a Hawkeye corner kick landed right into a mess of players. Iowa defender Riley Whitaker got a solid touch on the ball from the corner to secure an unassisted goal, putting the Hawkeyes up 2-0. The goal had to be reviewed by officials, but was indeed confirmed.
The Terps struggled offensively in the first half against the Hawkeyes, not recording their first shot until the 42nd minute by defender Jlon Flippens, which wasn’t on goal.
Coming out in the second half, Iowa continued to dominate offensively. Keeping the ball on Maryland’s half, Hawkeye’s Fiegel and forward Samatha Cary wove in and out of Maryland defenders, passing the ball off to Natalie Winters, whose shot in the 50th minute met the back of the net after Seppi’s failed diving save.
Not letting its foot off of the pedal, Iowa caught Seppi out of goal while the Hawkeye forward Gianna Gourley tapped the ball up in front of the net, causing one of Maryland’s defenders to head the ball in for an own goal. The Terps hadn’t allowed that many goals since Sept. 1, adding even more disappointment to the two-loss weekend.
Three things to know
- Maryland struggled to find scoring opportunities. Maryland’s first shot did not come until the 42nd minute, while the Hawkeyes relentlessly put pressure on Seppi. With the Terps not having possession of the ball for the majority of the game, they were not able to capitalize on the time they did. With only a total of 6 shots and 2 shots on goal, the Terps could not catch an offensive break in the 90 minutes of play.
- The Terps fall below .500 in conference play. After a loss to Nebraska Friday night, the Terps moved to 3-3 in the Big Ten conference. But after losing Sunday’s match against Iowa, the Terps move to 3-4 in the conference, a downward swing in momentum going into their future Big Ten matches. A single win this weekend would have set a program record for most Big Ten victories in a season, but the Terps missed both opportunities to do so.
- Maryland’s defense allowed four goals for the first time in over a month. The Terps hadn’t dropped four or more goals to an opponent since taking a 5-0 loss to Georgia on Sept. 1 early in the season. Sunday’s loss certainly was a step back for Maryland, especially since the Hawkeyes hadn't scored more than three goals in Big Ten play this season.