Against the run of play, Catherine DeRosa received a gift from a George Mason defender midway in the offensive zone. With awareness, DeRosa blasted a chip over the goalkeeper perfectly in the top left corner of the net for her second mark of the season.
DeRosa’s strike, the fourth of her career, displayed her elite athleticism. The captain found herself up and down the field, assisting the defense for potential pushes up the field. DeRosa registered three shots in 78 minutes.
“She’s one of the best captains that I’ve ever had the privilege to coach,” coach Meghan Ryan Nemzer said. “She is the heart and soul of the team…she’s all in.”
Maryland women’s soccer dismantled George Mason 2-0 to secure its second straight win. Nemzer’s team faced zero shots, the first time the program held an opponent shotless since joining the Big Ten in 2014, and tallied 28 shots, its most since 2015.
The Terps (2-1-4) started out on the front foot, controlling the majority of possessions in George Mason’s (0-7) defensive third to begin the match. Maryland earned two corner kicks within the first two minutes after a Madison Krakower blast towards the center of the net.
In the 30th minute, Kennedy Bell traced down the ball through the top of the box. A shimmy around a defender put her at a strong angle as she inched toward the goal. Bell attempted to dance around a defender but had her shot defended out for a corner kick.
“I think it was clear that anytime we won the ball back, our whole team was moving up together,” Morales said. “And it wasn’t just one person going… we also worked a lot on getting runs in the box.”
By the halftime whistle, the Terps had 10 corner kicks and 14 shots, seven on goal, but no scores to show for the offensive dominance The Patriots registered no corner kicks or shots in the opening half.
Maryland continued its hot streak and forced George Mason’s defense to crumble in the second half. In the 55th minute, Lauren Wrigley received a quick pass from Krakower at the top of the goal box. With her head up, Wrigley cut the ball onto her left foot and sliced past a defender. Her shot wretched the crossbar, launching in the air and away from the net.
Ten minutes later, Ava Morales found herself with space near the top left goal box. In similar fashion to DeRosa, Morales picked up her head and rifled a blast to the far corner of the net for the Terps’ second marker of the night.
“I intercepted the ball and then I just took my space,” Morales said. “I saw the goalie was shifted over and I feel like I’ve practiced a lot… that’s my money shot, so I needed to take it.”
Nemzer’s team found success in the midfield, fighting for and capturing nearly every ball up for grabs. That allowed her offense to command both halves and kept her defense rested.
Goalkeeper Liz Beardsley essentially had a night off as she faced no shots against her, while Maryland ended the night with its best offensive performance in eight years.
“I think what makes them so special is their desire to win and put Maryland on the map,” Nemzer said. “… I told them that they had to roll up their sleeves, nothing was gonna be handed to them… they’re excited to show the community, the university how much pride they have for the program.”