With the game tied at one, Maryland’s dynamic duo of forwards Alyssa Poarch and Mikayla Dayes struck again with seven minutes remaining against Purdue.
Poarch stood in the box and got a quick ball off to an open Dayes, who skipped one past Purdue goalkeeper Marisa Bova to give the Terrapins their first lead in four games.
The Terrapins were able to hold the lead through the final minutes of play, taking a 2-1 win over the Boilermakers — their first victory since Oct. 6.
“When Alyssa got the ball, I knew she was going to find that target,” Dayes said. “I had to be that target and finish.”
With the win against Purdue, the Terrapins’ chances of making a postseason appearance took a step in the right direction. The team still looks out of the playoff picture for now though, with just one win in the last four matches.
“The fight— that’s what it takes to win in the Big Ten,” Leone said. “This league is unbelievable, how bad people want it.”
The Boilermakers entered the contest below Maryland in the conference standings, so a victory for Maryland on Sunday was much needed before hitting the road for a tough final two games.
Maryland entered the halftime down 1-0, but came alive in the second half to come away with the victory.
“At the half, we talked about who wanted it more,” Dayes said. “I think we definitely wanted it more.”
In the 64th minute, midfielder Loren Sefcik took a ball off a Purdue defender, put on a spin move to create space and sent one past goalkeeper Marisa Bova to give the Terrapins their first goal in over 350 minutes, tying the game at one.
“She smoked that shot, she just hit it so clean,” Leone said. “For her to get that moment and take it, it was fantastic for us.”
But the first half was completely controlled by the Boilermakers. In the 24th minute, Purdue forward Sarah Griffith took a pass from the midfield logo and off she went past the Maryland defense. A breakaway shot that skipped past a diving Terrapin goalkeeper Erin Seppi into the bottom corner of the net gave the Boilermakers a 1-0 lead.
But the Terrapins would spoil that advantage in the second, scoring two goals to earn their first victory in three matches.
“I’ve never seen them reach down that deep,” coach Ray Leone said. “That was another level in that second half.”
Three things to know
- It was a rainy day in College Park. The weather was anything but ideal on Sunday as rain began to fall before the first whistle and never let up for the remainder of the game. Both teams felt the conditions, slowing the pace of the game for all 90 minutes. Maryland and Purdue both put up just six shots each in the first period, followed by a total of 13 in the second.
“I like playing in the rain,” Sefcik said. “I honestly thought it was fun. It was just another game.”
- The Terps are on the road again. Maryland now has just two games remaining in the regular season, both of which are on the road. The Terrapins secured just one road win this year against Rutgers, but have failed to come out victorious in their other six away games. Locked up at the back of the conference postseason picture, Maryland will need to pull out an out of the ordinary win away from College Park.
“We didn’t bring our Ludwig attitude to Nebraska and Iowa,” Leone said. “Let’s bring it to this Michigan trip and see if we can get a spot in the tournament.”
- Maryland has had a lack of attack. Before the goals by Sefcik and Dayes on Sunday, Maryland went without a goal in its last three contests. Leading scorer Alyssa Poarch netted two in the win over Illinois on October 6, but hadn’t scored since to carry the Terrapin attack. One of the team’s final games comes against the conference’s top-ranked team, Michigan. The Terrapins will need to find their offense quickly if they want to compete for a postseason spot.