With no one around her outside the box, Maryland women’s soccer defender Alexis Hogarth wound up and struck a bullet. The ball rose to the top right corner of the net, sailing over the head of George Mason goalkeeper Morgan Simmons for the score.
The goal extended the Terps’ lead to two over George Mason, putting the game out of reach before another goal sealed the final nail in the coffin. Coming off back-to-back losses, Maryland found its way back into the win column by a 3-0 score Thursday night.
“We were trying to find it so many times,” Hogarth said. “We had a lot of shots, and I was definitely look for it so many times. It was the third shot I had and it finally went in.”
Coming off consecutive shutouts in which it was outscored 9-0 over the weekend at the Bulldog Classic, Maryland’s offensive struggles disappeared Thursday night. In just the fourth minute, midfielder Loren Sefcik struck the game’s first shot. Five corner kicks contributed to a 10 shot first half for Maryland, five of which were on goal.
“Being in Georgia, it wasn’t the best outcome we would’ve wanted, so our team sat down and talked about the goals for our season,” defender Julia New said. “One of those things was to take care of our opportunities.”
And in the 10th minute, attacker Alyssa Poarch broke the team’s 190-minute goal drought. When the ball came between the redshirt sophomore and two defenders in the box, she wasted no time, breaking free and sending a left hook to the bottom corner of the net to give Maryland a 1-0 lead.
“Scoring early just set the tone for the rest of the game,” Poarch said. “We started with a lot of energy and that just carried out for the rest of the game.”
In the final minutes of the game, forward Mikayla Dayes added to Maryland’s 2-0 lead with a goal of her own. While one-on-one with a Patriot defender, the junior put on the moves and broke free, sending one to the top of the net. The goal is Dayes’ second of the year, tying Poarch for the team lead.
Maryland’s 10 corner kicks in the game were a season-high. Seventeen total shots also put the Terps’ offense back on track after a slow weekend on the attack.
“It’s all about the drive and desire,” New said. “The desire to get endline, the desire to be hungry, to score, to put our team on top and I think our team really tapped into that today.”
On the other end, the winless Patriots struggled offensively, generating one shot through the entire game. In only seven shots against Central Florida last game, George Mason was able to put two in the back net. The team couldn’t find its attack against Maryland, failing to earn any corner kicks or shots on goal.
Three things to know
1. Alyssa Poarch is quickly becoming Maryland’s leader — Going into the 2019 season, it was unclear who the biggest offensive threat would be for the Terps. After netting her second goal of the season, Poarch solidified her role as the team’s lead attacker. Both of her shots in contest either reached George Mason’s goalkeeper or skipped right past her.
2. The Terps are undefeated at home this year — Through the first five games, Maryland has come out victorious in its three games played at Ludwig. The win over George Mason increased the Terrapins’ home record to 6-4-2 over the last two seasons.
“Protecting this house, protecting this field,” Poarch said. “That’s just something that was a goal this season, to be undefeated at home.”
3. Ray Leone is one win away from 300 — With the win tonight, Leone earned career win No. 299. He would be just the 26th active Division I head coach to achieve the feat and the second in the Big Ten. The historic milestone could be sealed in Sunday’s road matchup against George Washington.