As Catherine DeRosa’s first half shot trickled past George Mason’s goalkeeper, Maryland men’s soccer players behind the goal waved decorative signs to celebrate the first of two tallies in Maryland women’s soccer’s 2-0 victory.
The Terps, craving every possible win at Ludwig Field, are currently 2-0-1 at home this season, a strong step towards their goal to “win the DMV.”
“We decided we’re not giving up any games at home,” junior defender Katie Coyle said. “We’re getting three points at our Ludwig homefield and we’re working on winning the DMV, focusing on our day to day habits.”
Coach Meghan Ryan Nemzer’s goal is to bring the Crew, Maryland soccer’s crazed fanbase, and larger crowds to more women’s games. Ludwig’s stands are often packed for the men’s team’s games.
“I would love to see them,” Nemzer said. “I know they’re supporting the men and the men came out to our game and supported us and that means the world to us. But I want to get back to a big crowd at Ludwig watching women’s soccer.”
But to fulfill Nemzer’s wish and gain notoriety, the Terps must have success. Maryland has six goals at home this season, an improvement from 2022 when they had four goals in the first three home games.
The Terps have connected on tighter passes in the midfield and generated one-on-one attacks moving up the pitch. Maryland’s road struggles, where it is 1-2-3, often stem in the midfield, where miscommunication leads to unnecessary giveaways. The Terps have also taken too many touches on the ball, giving defenders chances to steal possession.
But in the home win against George Mason, composure in the midfield allowed Maryland to find teammates with accurate passes.
The Terps gained possession of the ball in the 57th minute looking for a potential buildup. Coyle received a pass with a defender closing in. She settled the ball, looked up and found Kennedy Bell on the wing rather than forcing the ball through a poor angle.
Maryland’s defense has also been a pivotal part of the team’s home achievements. The backline, primarily anchored by Caroline Koutsos, Halle Johnson, Eden White, Kennedy Bell and Coyle, has helped shield goalkeeper Liz Beardsley from an avalanche of shots.
The defense’s speed tracking down sprinting attackers has prevented dangerous opportunities and even turned them into Maryland counterattacks.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to really just kind of hang out back there and just talk to the girls, just communicating,” Beardsley, who’s given up three goals and posted away with two shutouts at home, said. “I really haven’t had to do much.”
In the 49th minute against Towson, the Tigers sent a deep through ball down the sideline. The ball looked like it would be picked up by a Towson forward surging towards the goal. Instead, it was intercepted by a sprinting Johnson: she read the pass and slid to knock the ball away for a corner kick.
These quick read plays and more allowed the Terps to walk away with a 1-0 shutout. Maryland, coming off a 4-0 loss in its Big Ten opener, will look to continue its home success against Purdue.