When Rachel Egyed makes a save, the rest of the Maryland women’s soccer team takes notice.
On some occasions, before transitioning toward the other half of the field, the Terps verbally praise Egyed’s effort. Often, Egyed and her teammates quickly exchange smiles before the start of the next play.
Egyed, who was named a preseason Big Ten Player to Watch, is one of the three goalies coach Ray Leone has rotated at the position this season.
She set a career high in saves in Maryland’s loss to Pepperdine last Friday, the first of the team’s two weekend defeats, and tried to boost the offense’s urgency to perform at a higher level.
“[Egyed] is a great keeper, she’s always making crucial saves,” forward Jarena Harmon said. “She’s insane. She’s pretty powerful and she sets the bar high.”
The redshirt sophomore is Maryland’s lone familiar face between the pipes, as goalkeeper Stephanie Senn transferred from Kent State to play her final season with the Terps and Katelyn Jensen joined Maryland after spending her first season at Kentucky.
Still, Leone has yet to name a starting netminder. Through Maryland’s first six games, Egyed, Senn and Jensen have shared playing time, rotating after each half. Leone isn’t in a hurry to select a starter, balancing his players’ starting time as he did at Harvard.
“They’re dealing with it,” Leone said of his goalkeepers’ reactions to his approach. “The alternative is picking one. Now, you’re already on the team, so it’s no different than any other sub. That’s how we’re treating it for now.”
In the second half of Maryland’s 1-0 overtime loss to No. 25 Pepperdine on Friday at Ludwig Field, Egyed was dominant. In the 88th minute, she saved a line drive kick from a Waves forward who wasn’t guarded on the right side of the box.
Egyed also helped keep the game tied with a pair of stops in overtime before Pepperdine forward Rylee Baisden converted a free kick.
Still, Egyed recorded a personal-best seven saves in the loss.
“[Despite the outcome], it’s still huge,” Egyed said. “The support and encouragement from everyone, I couldn’t be out there doing what I do without them.”
On Sunday, though, Egyed didn’t fare as well.
After Jensen kept Appalachian State off the board in the opening period, Egyed took over in the second with Maryland maintaining a one-goal lead.
Mountaineers forward Erin Settle scored on a left-footed attempt to tie the game at one in the 56th minute. Then with about seven minutes remaining in regulation, forward Jane Cline’s shot off the crossbar reached the back of net to give Appalachian State a late lead.
After watching the Mountaineers take the lead with Egyed in goal, Leone elected to give Jensen another opportunity for about the final five minutes of the game.
Even after the Mountaineers had success against Egyed on Sunday, though, it’s unlikely Leone gives one of his other two goalkeepers more playing time. After all, Maryland’s offensive players feed off her energy.
“If she goes out and makes a great save, it makes us want to go out and continuously play harder,” Harmon said. “For the sake of the fact we could have been down one [more].”