Maryland women’s soccer forward Jarena Harmon scored just one goal in 16 appearances last season, during which she struggled to see the field due to injuries. The senior already has three goals in her first three games this season.
With the game tied at one with about 25 minutes remaining against Appalachian State on Friday, the Terps showcased some impressive ball movement. A cross found sophomore forward Mikayla Dayes in the box, but her shot was saved.
It appeared to the announced crowd of 1,131 that it would be one of those nights for a Terps’ offense struggling to finish their chances.
Instead, the resulting deflection trickled to Harmon, and she tapped it in for her second game-deciding goal of the season, propelling the Terps to a 3-1 victory over Appalachian State in their home opener.
Sophomore midfielder Anissa Mose scored her first career goal and the team’s third goal in the waning moments, sealing the Terps’ 10th win in their last 11 home openers.
However, the Maryland win wasn’t without adversity.
In the 22nd minute, Maryland goalkeeper Rachel Egyed cut off a Mountaineer pass, but her clearance met the foot of Appalachian State’s Sarah Murphy. She flicked a shot over Egyed, and the Terps found themselves in a 1-0 hole.
Egyed, a preseason All Big Ten selection, split time with fellow goalkeeper Erin Seppi in the Terps first two games of the James Madison Invitational.
The Terps didn’t allow the early miscue to get to them, as they rattled off three consecutive goals to end the game.
“I’m happy with how we responded [to the goal],” said coach Ray Leone. “We just came out in the second half really snapping the ball around and moving it, and it was a really great response. I just think they were nervous, it’s their first [home] game.”
Maryland’s last goal came from Mose, who received a well-placed ball from midfielder Hope Lewandoski to set up the chance. Mose didn’t miss.
The goal was the cap on a string of improved ball movement after a sloppy first half, during which the Maryland offense only found the net on an own goal in the 34th minute.
“In the first half, we were very frantic,” said Mose. “We were just kicking the ball, we didn’t have any real rhythm for our play. But I think in the second half of the first half, we started to create a rhythm and we carried it into the second half.”
In the Terps’ 3-0 loss to James Madison on Sunday, the team’s attack continually put themselves in position to score, but they couldn’t quite finish their chances in the box.
The Terps will hope to continue their focused offensive play from the second half through the rest of their nonconference slate.
“We were more calm [in the second half],” said Harmon. “We were very composed in terms of what our body language was doing, we were communicating with each other. Just overall not being frantic flipped the game completely on its head.”