Coach Meghan Ryan Nemzer was animated all night in Maryland women’s soccer’s matchup against No. 24 Wake Forest. Her voice rose above all the sounds of the game from the fans to the players.
The Terps hosted the traveling Demon Deacons at Ludwig Field. Maryland battled, but fell in the game between the two undefeated teams,1-0.
The Terps dropped a match for the first time this season as the Demon Deacons continue to roll.
Nemzer and her coaching staff made multiple changes to the starting eleven. Halle Johnson and Christa Waterman — who both started against George Mason — were dropped from the lineup.
The coach helped run Rutgers’ defense during her time as associate head coach prior to her arrival at Maryland. Against Wake Forest, the Terps’ defense retreated instead of displaying their usual high pressing.
‘I think when you play a team like Wake, we committed all our numbers behind and sort of sat back and sort of let them take the ball eighty yards away from the net,” Sydney Urban said. “We just need to work on transitioning out of that tucked in formation to a higher formation where our forwards stretch the field a little more.”
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Freshman Tahirah Turnage made her first career start in defense for the Terps while graduate transfer Amanda Schafer registered her second start of the season.
“She likes to keep the ball and she’s good as far as understanding the game tactically, so especially with Wake Forest’s movement I felt she was organized and prepared for it,” Nemzer said of Turnage. “It’s always a good day when a freshman starts.”
Alyssa Poarch started the game deeper, taking up positions as a winger in midfield rather than the up top. She registered the first shot for either side in the 23rd minute, but the effort was not on target.
The defense kept Wake Forest quiet in the first half. The Demon Deacons scored 15 goals so far this season, but were held without a shot until the 29th minute. Neither side ended the first period with any shots on goal.
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Maryland’s defense aimed to keep Wake Forest quiet in the second half, but the Demon Deacons were on the front foot throughout the second half. Just ten minutes into the period Wake Forest more than doubled its shot tally for the match, bringing it to five. Only one was on target, but it was straight at goalkeeper Madeline Smith.
However, the Terps couldn’t hold on. In the 65th minute, the Demon Deacons took their opportunity. Giovanna DeMarco took a shot on the half volley after a blocked effort was cleared. She blazed her strike into the top right corner, giving Wake Forest the lead.
“We focused a lot on being organized defensively, and I thought they did that very well,” Nemzer said. “I think the goal that they scored was really the only good opportunity they had.”
Maryland couldn’t muster much offensively for the rest of the game. The Terps registered three more shots, but their only attempt on target for the Terps came from a Juliana Lynch free kick in the 64th minute.
The two sides shared 27 fouls at the final whistle, creating many stoppages that limited either’s ability to build fluid play.
Maryland will play its final nonconference game against Saint Joseph’s on Sunday before beginning its Big Ten schedule against Michigan on Sept. 16.