Maryland women’s soccer concedes late in regulation, draws 1-1 with George Washington

Goalkeeper Erin Seppi kicks the ball in Maryland women's soccer's 1-1 draw with George Washington on Sept. 8, 2019. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)

Forward Mikayla Dayes slipped through the George Washington defense to score her team-leading third goal of the season early in the second half. Her lone strike was not enough to push Maryland past the Colonials, though, as the Terps settled for their first draw of the season.

The Terps (3-2-1) were coming off a dominant victory over George Mason on Thursday at Ludwig Field. However, succeeding in road games has proven to be a struggle this season — and in the past.

The team has not won an away game since August 2018, when it beat William & Mary in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Last season’s matchup between the Terps and the Colonials ended at 0-0.

George Washington came out on the front foot, earning the first two scoring opportunities early. Neither one was on target, though. Forward Alyssa Poarch got the Maryland offense moving, finding two chances within two minutes and forcing a save out of George Washington goalkeeper Tamaki Machi.

[Read more: Maryland women’s soccer dispatches George Mason in 3-0 win]

Maryland goalkeeper Erin Seppi played hero in the first half, garnering three saves to keep the Colonials’ offense at bay despite eight shots in the opening 45 minutes.

“I told [Seppi] after the game, she was fantastic,” coach Ray Leone said. “If you think about trying to get a difficult point on the road in our league, that’s the kind of experience we need. She’s got to steal a goal away from them that was going in. And she did that a couple times today where GW made a fantastic attack and she stole a goal away from them. She did it two or three times today, she was solid as a rock.”

Seppi continued her save spree out of the gate in the second half off a shot from Kelly Amador. It proved crucial as the Terps took the ball down the field and found the opening goal of the contest.

[Read more: Darby Moore has filled Maryland soccer’s midfield void left by Niven Hegeman’s injury]

And off that burst of momentum, Maryland found its offensive footing, racking up opportunities at goal and forcing two saves. Midfielder Loren Sefcik found three shots, one of which hit the crossbar.

“We’ve got to make the right choice on the final play,” Leone said. “You can see we’re in and if you just make this pass compared to that pass, it’s literally a sitter. We’re forcing it through, and shooting as hard as we can and not taking the right angle. There were some great opportunities.”

The Colonials found their way back into the contest in the 76th minute off a goal from forward Rachel Sorkenn.

Neither team could pull ahead in regulation, sending the Terps to their second overtime game of the season.

George Washington dominated the first overtime period, forcing three saves out of Seppi while keeping Maryland out of its half for the majority of the 10 minutes.

Seppi continued to be the difference-maker for the Terps in the early parts of the second overtime period, finishing with 11 saves.

A brief moment of panic ensued when Seppi hit the ground hard off a save attempt, and stayed down for a few minutes. Fortunately for the Terps, she got back up and finished out the game as Maryland worked its way to a draw.

“It was two really competitive teams fighting for every inch of the field” Leone said. “It was a physical contest and an exciting game. I think anybody who was there must have really enjoyed the game, it was end-to-end with a lot of things happening.”

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