Coming off a disappointing draw finish against Temple on Thursday, the Terps came out firing in their matchup against Princeton to secure coach Ray Leone’s 300th career win.
With the 3-0 win over the Tigers, Leone becomes the 26th active Division I coach to achieve the feat and the second in the Big Ten conference.
“I told them it’s not about me, it’s about the girls I’ve coached,” Leone said. “I’ve been thinking about that, my first college girls, I wouldn’t even be here without them.”
The Maryland coach has been on the cusp of 300 for quite some time now, including in the near-win turned draw against the Owls. After a stretch of down seasons, Leone hasn’t been able to cross the mark. A four-win 2018 put 300 on the horizon, but it was only finally achieved with the win over Princeton.
The fourth win of 2019 matches the total from a season ago with conference play yet to take off. Maryland also stays perfect at home with Sunday’s victory, as the Terps have yet to lose at Ludwig Field so far this season.
“Protecting our house is our main goal this year,” Poarch said. “Beating this opponent at home is definitely a great accomplishment.”
The Terps’ offense was led by forward Alyssa Poarch who netted two goals in the contest, both in the first half. An attack-heavy game against the Tigers kept the ball on Maryland’s side of the field, with seven of eight shots in the first half being on goal. The Terps ended with 13 shots compared to Princeton’s 10.
“Playing [up big] gives them room for error, and the way we played before that there was no room for mistakes,” Leone said. “The last game was in their minds, so they were able to seal the deal today.”
In her first game back from injury, midfielder Jlon Flippens asserted herself back into the starting lineup without a hiccup. In the fourth minute, the senior found Poarch in the box for an easy goal past the Princeton goalkeeper. It was Flippens first point of the season and Poarch’s first goal of the day.
Maryland’s lead attacker stayed hot on the attack after netting her first goal. Only 12 minutes later, Poarch dribbled past a defender and shot a lefty strike to the bottom corner of the goal to put the Terps up by two. The goal was her fourth of the season — a new team-high.
Flippens earned her second point of the season with an 80th minute assist to forward Emily McNesby, who scored her first goal of the 2019 season and the second of her career. The late goal put the contest out of reach with the Tigers unable to come back in the final minutes.
Three things to know
1. Maryland likes to attack early. The Terps have gotten used to attacking early in games this season. With most of its first shots coming within the first five minutes, Maryland solidified its role as the offensive team in the contest. With Poarch’s goal in the fourth minute, the Terrapins now have three goals scored within the first 10 minutes of play this season.
“We have to start at a high level,” Poarch said. “So to get those shots off early, it helps bring the team get energy and carries into the rest of the game.”
2. Leone achieves win No. 300. After what seemed like an eternity, the Maryland head coach has reached career win No. 300. In the game against Temple on Thursday, Leone was just seconds away from the feat until the Owls tied things up to send the game to overtime that eventually led to a tie.
“To do it today with the opponent we had, the shutout and my first game back, it was a lot of emotions, so for that we are super excited for him,” Flippens said. “He’s so selfless and he puts us first always, so it was a good chance to put him in the spotlight once.”
3. Jlon Flippens is back. After missing the first seven games of the 2019 season due to injury, Flippens returned to the Maryland lineup today and played as if she didn’t miss a beat. With two assists on the team’s three goals, the Philadelphia native is showing a promising addition to the Terrapin attack.
“It’s surreal and it gives me confidence in future games,” Flippens said. “Not just myself, but also in my teammates.”
Editors note: Testudo Times apologizes for not having this article out sooner. We had the article ready to be published as soon as the game ended, but the site was having technical difficulties that wouldn’t allow the article to be published. We were working all day with SB Nation’s staff to fix the issues.