With the sun beating down in the final 10 minutes of regulation against Drexel, goalkeeper Rachel Egyed needed to make one more save to force extra time. The Maryland women’s soccer team, exhausted and trying to keep the game level at 0-0, looked to be out of it as the Dragons launched a flurry of shots on goal.
For the second time in two starts, the fifth-year senior came up huge when it mattered most, making a diving save on a shot by forward Raenah Campbell and keeping the Terps level with an opponent that looked superior for much of the match.
Her career-high ninth save was the most important, but she couldn’t make a 10th. The Terps struggled again to create offense, losing 1-0 on a 94th-minute goal by Dragons forward Morgan Rees.
“We did some really good things, but three quarters of the field doesn’t get it done,” coach Ray Leone said. “It’s that final third that has to improve. We’re making progress … but you come to win, so it’s painful.”
After Maryland’s 1-0 loss against Temple on Friday, Leone said the biggest detriment to the Terps’ attack was their inability to complete the final ball needed to score, and that continued for much of Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia.
Shut out for the third time in four contests, the Terps’ best chance came in the 14th minute. Midfielder Hope Lewandoski and forward Jarena Harmon showcased a lethal combination the Terps have used frequently so far this season. Lewandoski, advancing the attack just over midfield, noticed an opening in the Drexel backline.
Harmon also noticed it and began her run just as the midfielder placed a perfect pass into the open field. However, Dragons goalkeeper Libby Baeza tipped Harmon’s shot, and it harmlessly trickled wide of the frame.
“That chance was a great chance, and we should have had more of those,” Leone said. “We’re getting around the corner and just not executing the serve, and the winning goal on us today was a perfect serve and a perfect finish.”
Midfielder Darby Moore found success streaking down the right side of the field in the early stages, but she struggled to find a teammate at the end of her crosses.
And as the match progressed, the Drexel defense wore the Terps down. The Dragons employed an aggressive press, looking to steal the ball and counter on the offensive end, and that took a toll on the Terps.
Maryland had a 5-4 shot advantage in the first half, but the Dragons outshot the Terps 14-5 advantage in the second half and overtime.
Egyed could only stave off the Dragons’ attack for so long, and Rees’ close-range volley in the 94th minute hit the back of the net clinched Maryland’s second 1-0 loss of the weekend.
Despite being shut out, Leone saw some improvement in his team’s ball movement from their loss to Temple on Friday. For the Terps to be successful in their upcoming homestand, they’ll need to build on their performance against Drexel.
“The ball was moving quicker and with more purpose,” Leone said. “All we’re going to be talking about next week [is] that final run. So we’re going to have to show them videos, and they’ll see … if they just did this thing instead of that thing, it would be a total different story.”