Goalkeeper Liz Beardsley eyed a Purdue attacker driving down the left side of her goal box with no defenders stepping in the 83rd minute. With quick awareness, she stepped up to close off the angle and threw her body at the ball. Beardsley’s rare intervention deflected the ball out for a throw-in and kept the game scoreless late on.
The junior’s only save of the game maintained the Terps’ undefeated home record. Maryland women’s soccer (3-2-5, 0-1-1 Big Ten) wasn’t able to capitalize on the abundance of chances it created in its first conference home game of the season, drawing Purdue 0-0 in College Park on Thursday.
After falling 4-0 Friday at Penn State, Maryland looked to rebound after its largest loss of the season.
“I thought our response was really good,” coach Meghan Ryan Nemzer said. “I thought that we showed that we can compete in the Big Ten and I thought the mentality was good.”
The Terps’ defense pressed high early, rarely allowing Purdue (3-6-1, 0-1-1 Big Ten) to possess the ball past the midfield line. Nemzer’s squad controlled the majority of the possession in the midfield area and connected quick passes to gain momentum up the pitch.
In the third minute, Peyton Bernard received a through ball against the run of play. She battled with a defender for the ball before hammering a shot as she neared the edge of the goal box. The freshman’s dipping strike seemed destined to sneak in under the crossbar, but was slightly tapped over for a corner kick.
“We have a lot of young players up there and it just takes time,” Lauren Wrigley said. “…I feel like we’re taking steps in the right direction.”
Maryland’s leading goalscorer Ava Morales took every opportunity she had towards goal. The sophomore registered four shots in the first half, often favoring a high, left-footed strike.
The Terps’ dominance continued throughout the first half. In the 37th minute, Lisa McIntyre rifled a one-time shot close to the same spot as Bernard’s. Her shot also arrowed toward the crossbar and was deflected out for a corner.
Morales’ ensuing corner landed on the penalty spot, where it bounced around between players. The ball eventually fell to the feet of Bernard, who struck a shot that ricocheted off the crossbar and down, coming inches away from crossing the goal line before the Boilermakers cleared the ball away.
The Terps registered 10 first half shots but weren’t able to capitalize. Despite Maryland’s offensive dominance and its defense limiting Purdue to zero shots, the Terps entered the break tied 0-0.
“I think in the final third is where we need to be better,” Nemzer said. “Obviously that’s the toughest part and the game right now so we’ll have to go back and clean that up and look at film.”
The Boilermakers began pressuring Beardsley in the second half. Purdue earned its first corner kick of the match in the 57th minute and the delivery found the head of a Boilermaker, who directed it right at Beardsley. She stayed alert and fended off the strike, Purdue’s first of the match, to keep the score 0-0. The junior made one save and recorded her sixth clean sheet of the season on Thursday.
Maryland continued its offensive push and maintained its composure on the ball throughout the second half. Nemzer’s squad was able to preserve an organized structure in their defensive third, something the team has been successful at in home matches. Maryland kept its third consecutive clean sheet at home on Thursday.
“I think we relied on a lot of the momentum that we had in the first half,” Wrigley said. “… I think their pressure kind of interfered with our own goals to keep the ball for ourselves.”
But as the game progressed, the Boilermakers began picking up the Terps’ habits and found windows for dangerous shots to trickle through. Both teams also picked up the physicality, forcing the referee to draw yellow cards to Kat Parris and Victoria Kevdzija in the final 20 minutes.
Defender Kennedy Bell went down with an injury in the 77th minute after landing on her shoulder awkwardly after heading the ball away. She was up and down the field throughout the game for the Terps, from attacking Purdue defenders one-on-one to slide tackling the ball away from Boilermakers attackers.
Bell found her way back to the pitch to slide and deflect a Purdue shot away for a corner kick in the final minute.
“I’m really proud of how much she’s grown as a leader and that mentality,” Nemzer said. “… She doesn’t play like a freshman and to think that we got four years with her.”
Maryland was able to stave off Purdue’s late chances as the two teams settled for a scoreless draw, despite the Terps registering 17 shots on Thursday.