Goalkeeper Rachel Egyed remained rooted to her spot as the Maryland women’s soccer team watched Nebraska forward Faith Carter throw her arms into the air and jump toward her teammates.
The Terps had fended off Nebraska’s repeated attacks for 90 hard-fought minutes of regulation only to see the Cornhuskers score the game-winning goal less than two minutes into overtime. Carter ran near post, rose up and headed in the golden goal off a corner kick.
The Terps had held a 1-0 lead for more than half an hour, but Nebraska’s pressure finally paid off in the 63rd minute, and Maryland couldn’t produce any further offense in response.
“[Nebraska was] really good,” coach Ray Leone said. “They were able to find some gaps, and we have to improve that and watch tape… Overall we did much better than last year [against them].”
Maryland (3-4-3, 1-1-0 Big Ten) wasn’t able to muster a shot on net until midway through the first half Sunday. Nebraska’s high press kept the Terps scrambling to hold possession, and the team rarely advanced the ball into the Cornhuskers’ territory.
Nebraska (5-3-2, 1-0-1) sat back and put all 11 players in defense on its own half early on, but, after a few failed Maryland possessions, the Cornhuskers pushed up and turned on the pressure.
When her team was on the attack, Nebraska goalkeeper Aubrei Corder hovered around midfield, daring the Terps to shoot over her.
The jarring tactical shift seemed to surprise the Terps, and the young team was tasked with figuring out the Cornhuskers’ high press mid-game. Corder frequently cut off Maryland’s advances, stymieing the Terps’ attack.
But in the 26th minute, a quick-strike counter attack provided Maryland with a breakthrough, giving the team hopes of avenging its 3-0 loss to Nebraska last year.
Forward Mikayla Dayes won the ball at midfield and executed a perfect give-and-go with midfielder Loren Sefcik. The freshman sent a through ball out wide that hit Dayes in stride, and Dayes redirected the ball into the box for midfielder Darby Moore to slot home.
In Maryland’s 4-0 victory over Iowa on Friday, the opening goal by forward Jarena Harmon sparked the Terps’ attack to go forward and knife through the opposing defense. After Moore’s goal, however, Maryland’s attack stalled, and Nebraska’s stepped on the gas.
Clinging to a one-goal advantage, the Terps faced a barrage of scoring chances.
Egyed made a diving stop on an attempt by midfielder Dakota Chan, but the Cornhuskers wouldn’t let up. The save resulted in Nebraska’s third corner of the match, and midfielder Brenna Ochoa sent in a tempting ball for Carter, but her header was saved.
The senior’s next header attempt hit the crossbar, before forward Savanah Uveges finally finished on a rebound to even the score in the 63rd minute.
Egyed made four saves in goal, but Nebraska’s 17-5 shot advantage was eventually too much for her to make up for.
“[Egyed] is phenomenal,” Harmon said. “She obviously always makes a statement, but her willingness to not let anything get past her is crazy. She’s like a brick wall.”
The loss broke a six-game streak of Egyed surrendering no more than one goal. The last time she allowed multiple scores was in Maryland’s 3-0 loss to James Madison on August 19.
But when Carter rose up to meet Ochoa’s corner kick, there wasn’t any play for Egyed to make, and the Terps dropped their first Big Ten match of the season.
“It’s hard. I’m not going to lie,” Moore said. “It’s really hard to lose in overtime. This one hurts, but to see where we were last year … it’s a full 180 turnaround.”