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Maryland women’s soccer makes history with 6-2 win over Illinois

The Terps had a scoring party at Ludwig Field.

Photo by Maryland Athletics

Maryland women’s soccer defender Adalee Broadbent stood in the box as defender Jlon Flippens sent a ball from 30 ft. out. Dropping to her knees, Broadbent nudged the pass into the back of the net for her first career goal — her first of two on the day.

Illinois had just scored to bring the game within a goal prior to the play and the sophomore’s goal in the 37th minute put the game back in control of the Terps, who would score three more times en route to an 6-2 win over Illinois Sunday.

“It was an attacking attitude the whole game,” coach Ray Leone said. “They really embraced this opportunity and it was fantastic.”

The offensive explosion, which included four goals in the first half, was one for the history books. Maryland scored the most against a Big Ten opponent since joining the conference five years ago. The game also marks the most goals for the Terps over a Power Five opponent since October 1996, as well as their most goals over any opponent since August 2013.

And Broadbent played a big role in doing so. She never had a chance to leave the spotlight after scoring her first goal, with her second one coming only five minutes later. The Lancaster, Pennsylvania, native took a cross from Anissa Mose in the box and flicked it to the back of the net to give the team a 4-1 lead before half-time.

“I’ve been trying so hard this season to get one and I’ve been so close so many times,” Broadbent said. “It felt good to finally see one to go in, actually two.”

Converting on corner kicks has been quite the struggle for Maryland this season, but today changed that. In the fourth minute, Mose sent one from the corner hash and curved it over a packed box and into the back of the net to give the Terrapins a lead that they would never give up.

“The service was better,” Leone said. “Today we got that service back, and when you have a good service everyone’s hungry. It was probably the best corner kick of the season.”

The Terps also showed improvement in their accuracy, with four of their five shots on goal in the first 45 minutes reaching the back of the net. Illinois led the Terrapins in shots, 17-15, but earned one less on goal.

The most impressive goal of the half came from none other than leading scorer Alyssa Poarch. The junior forward took a pass from midfielder Loren Sefcik and sent a missile from outside the box that shot past the Illinois goalkeeper. The goal was Poarch’s seventh of the year.

The Delaware native didn’t slow in the second half, scoring her second of the day and the fifth for the Terrapins to put a sharpie on the record books. Poarch took another pass from Sefcik and skipped the ball into the bottom corner.

Sefcik earned a goal for herself in the 69th minute, her first of the season. Taking a ball from a free kick by Flippens, the sophomore earned her fourth point of the day.

In goal for the Terps was freshman Nicole Kwoczka, who made her first career start in absence of senior Erin Seppi, who’s missed the last two games due to injury. Kwoczka notched five saves on 13 total shots in her second appearance of the season, before fellow goalkeeper Andi Wenck came into the game in the final minutes and allowed Illinois a second goal.

But Maryland was already well ahead at the time, thanks in large part to Broadbent’s efforts, and easily coasted to the historic win.

“If you score, you can defend a little bit better and a little bit longer,” Leone said. “The more we can score, the more energy we can have.”

Three things to know

1. Maryland is dangerous with the lead. With the win against Illinois, the Terps remain undefeated when scoring first. Maryland has netted five goals within the first 10 minutes of play this season, each time resulting in a win. The team showed no quit in the contest Sunday, as the total of six goals is the most ever in Big Ten play, and the most in game since Aug. 23, 2013 against The Citadel.

“Coming in strong sets the pace for the whole game,” Sefcik said. “When we score our first goal, our mindset is to keep going strong.”

2. This year is different. Maryland recorded its seventh win of the year, matching the most under coach Ray Leone. A down year in 2018 left the Terps with just four victories, but the third conference win of the year is the most in five years. A first Big Ten postseason appearance is on the horizon for the Terps with six regular season games remaining.

“I think energy is a big thing,” Broadbent said. “Going to goal and giving everything we have every game is big.”

3. Scoring is contagious. Broadbent, Sefcik and Mose’s goals today increased the total to nine players to find the back of the net this season. The diversity in the lineup can prove to be lethal for Maryland going down the stretch, as it is now evident that everyone is dangerous with the ball.