After Maryland women’s soccer’s season-opening 2-1 victory against William & Mary, coach Ray Leone was pleased with his young team’s fight. Despite being outplayed technically for much of the game, the Terps never dropped their intensity and were able to pull through in the late moments.
Maryland never got that chance against James Madison.
Minutes before halftime, a James Madison run down the middle of the field nearly ended in a Terps goal kick, but the Dukes maintained possession. The resulting cross found the foot of Abby Maltese in the box, and Maryland let in a deflating goal.
James Madison scored its second goal fewer than 10 minutes after halftime and then finished the game with a goal two minutes before the final whistle. Unable to keep up, the Terps were easily dispatched 3-0 in their second game of the season.
In a game that was even in nearly every aspect but the scoreboard, the Terps struggled to convert their scoring opportunities. The Dukes only held a 11-10 shot advantage, and both teams earned six shots on goal and six corners.
However, Maryland was outplayed physically. The Dukes were called for 18 fouls compared to just nine for the Terps, highlighting the physical nature of the contest.
“It was a very, very physical game,” Leone said. “Probably one of the most physical games I’ve been a part of. I’m proud of our team’s response to it, but we kind of showed our youth.”
After fighting off Maryland’s attack early on, James Madison seemed to find a soft spot in the Terps defense down the right side of the field. For several minutes, they began to abuse that opening, putting Maryland goalkeeper Erin Seppi under significant pressure.
Eventually, she relinquished a goal, and the Terps couldn’t recover.
“We’re going to have to learn how to deal with being down a goal,” Leone said, “because we were playing very, very well, but when they got that goal… in the second half [James Madison] started to dominate.”
For the second-straight game, Preseason All Big Ten Honors list goalie Rachel Egyed didn’t get the start in net for the Terps. Seppi played the first half, and Egyed played the second, but she didn’t fare much better.
The Dukes piled it on after a Maryland defensive lapse left Haley Crawford wide open in the box for an easy score, and a late header in the waning moments put an exclamation point on the dominating victory.
With the loss, the Terps’ eight game nonconference unbeaten streak comes to end. Before their season-opening win on Thursday, the Terps hadn’t scored in six-straight games dating back to last year.
For an inexperienced Maryland team that started six underclassman against the Dukes, they’ll look to figure out any scoring problems before conference play.
“We’ve got work to do. We’ve got to be much crisper,” Leone said. “Our shots were unrealistic, too far away, so I think we need to improve our shot selection. But it’s the second game of the year, and we’ve got a lot to learn there.”