Hope Gouterman stood directly in front of goalkeeper Rachel Egyed and raised her right hand to set the next play. Seconds earlier, Indiana defender Marissa Borschke scored a goal off a corner kick to give the Hoosiers a one-goal advantage in the 34th minute.
As the Terps walked toward midfield, Gouterman told the defenders around her to remain positive. There was still time for the offense to respond.
Maryland couldn’t capitalize on any of its six-shot opportunities in the 1-0 loss, but Gouterman viewed the defense performance as a positive one. The backline hasn’t allowed a score in the run of play since the 50th minute of its 3-1 loss to Michigan on Oct. 2.
“It says a lot about our team,” Gouterman said. “We’ve been really good about staying disciplined. Overall, it has really come together well. We’re doing a really nice job of keeping the ball out of the net in the run of play.”
Borschke’s early score followed a familiar pattern that has plagued the Terps in each of their passes three losses. The past five goals Maryland has allowed have come off corner attempts.
But as they did against Purdue on Thursday night, the Terps allowed few open shot opportunities to the Hoosiers, who recorded five scores in their two games entering Sunday’s matchup.
In losses to Michigan State, Michigan and Ohio State, the Terps left opposing forwards unmarked. That’s changed in their past two contests.
“It’s hard to find positives when you’re getting a bad result,” forward Madison Turner said. “You look at the goals we’ve given up and none have been from the run of play, which is impressive considering at the beginning of the year, it wasn’t that way.”
After Maryland’s 4-0 loss to the Buckeyes on Oct. 6, coach Ray Leone emphasized the importance of playing an aggressive style of defense. He adjusted Maryland’s lineup, playing Gouterman as a defender after she made in the midfield earlier this season. He encourage his backline to play higher of the field.
Though it attempted five shots after the intermission, Indiana noticed the change.
“Especially in the second half, I thought they pressed us a bit more,” Indiana coach Amy Berbary said. “We couldn’t sort it out. We broke down a bit in the midfield and the game became pretty open.”
The team’s offensive struggles have overshadowed its recent defensive improvement, as Maryland hasn’t scored since it played Michigan on Oct. 2. The Terps scoreless drought sits at 371 minutes.
But the Terps prepare for their final two contests against Iowa and Minnesota, they’ll look to continue limiting their opponents’ scoring chances.
“We’re only thinking that we haven’t scored,” Leone said, “and not realizing we haven’t let up a regular goal.”