With Maryland women’s soccer knotted in a scoreless battle with an Iowa squad they lost to 4-0 last season, the struggling Terps offense needed someone to step up in their Big Ten opener.
Less than ten minutes after halftime, defender Adalee Broadbent sent a prayer of a pass into the box from behind midfield. Iowa goalkeeper Claire Graves came off her line to punch away the dangerous chance, but the ball bounced behind her right at the feet of forward Jarena Harmon. The senior didn’t waste the opportunity, tapping it in to break the tie.
Then just eight minutes later, Harmon buried a strike from the left side of the box into the corner of the goal, and in the final 20 minutes, midfielder Darby Moore and forward Alyssa poarch each added another to secure a dominating 4-0 Maryland victory in the team’s first Big Ten match Friday.
“I’m just so happy for them,” coach Ray Leone said. “You have to make your own luck, and just to see them really enjoy playing the game together and playing hard for one another, it was a real fun night for us.”
Coming into the game, Maryland had scored just one goal in their previous five matches, and after a scoreless first half it looked like the offensive blight would continue. Iowa outshot the Terps 7-4 during the opening period, with none of Maryland’s looks putting much pressure on the Hawkeyes defense.
After Harmon’s back-to-back strikes, Moore arguably scored the Terps’ best goal of the season in the 72nd minute.
Moore, running down the right side of the pitch, floated what looked like a cross attempt into the box, but the ball never came down. When the looping attempt from about 40 yards out finally came down, it landed just inside the top left corner of the frame, just above the outstretched arm of Graves.
“I was definitely just trying to help my teammates out and go forward with it and it turned out to be a little better than expected,” Moore said. “So I’m going to trademark it as a ‘shoss.'”
The Hawkeyes’ best chance of the match came in the 37th minute after an errant clearance by goalkeeper Rachel Egyed ended up at the feet of forward Rose Ripslinger, but the Maryland backline picked up their goalkeeper.
With Egyed having vacated her goal, Broadbent made a sliding stop in the goalmouth and defender Niven Hegeman made a crucial clearance to keep the Hawkeyes off the board before the Terps opened the floodgates in the second half.
On the defensive end, defender Kady Badham delivered the most impactful performance for Maryland at centerback. Despite being listed as a forward on the roster, the senior, making just her second start of the season, consistently cut off attempted passes that looked to put the Hawkeyes in at goal.
Leone said after the game that Badham had a solid showing in preseason, but a nagging injury prevented her from making a significant contribution until this past week.
The four-goal output by Maryland is the team’s highest total since joining the Big Ten and the most overall since a 5-1 victory over Yale in 2015.
By reversing the scoreline of last year’s loss to Iowa, the Terps leveled their Big Ten win total from all of 2017 and puts themselves in position to earn a second conference victory for the first time since 2014.
“It’s a different type of hunger,” Harmon said. “We realized that the Big Ten season started, and it kinda just hit us like, we want to do better than we ever have.”