Maryland’s defensive core worked the ball around to maintain possession in the seventh minute. Halle Johnson, from her own penalty box, sent a ball past midfield in an attempt to find the body of a teammate to move up the field.
Johnson’s pass took a deflection off a Nebraska head, laying to the space in front of a speedy Peyton Bernard. Bernard, behind the Husker defense, only had the goalkeeper between her and the back of the net. The freshman hammered a left footed shot that found the crossbar and eventually the ground, inches away from Maryland’s first goal in over a month.
Maryland women’s soccer didn’t capitalize on its first half opportunities in its 3-0 loss to Nebraska, the Terps seventh consecutive scoreless effort and fifth straight defeat.
“I thought we competed and I thought that we did a good job as far as sticking to the game plan,” Nemzer said. “I just feel like the momentum sort of changed after [Nebraska’s second goal].”
The match, originally set for 8 p.m., was moved to 2 p.m. due to poor weather in Lincoln, which caused chippy pitch conditions.
The Terps (3-7-5, 0-6-1 Big Ten) and Huskers (10-2-3, 4-1-2 Big Ten) exchanged offensive chances to begin the match. Nebraska’s first scoring opportunity came in the second minute when Jordan Zade sent a cross to the back post from the left sideline. The ball, deflected en route, eventually found Eleanor Dale’s feet. Her left-footed shot just missed the right side netting, out for a Maryland goal kick.
Bernard started a promising attack opportunity in the 29th minute when the forward stole the ball off a poor Nebraska pass and sprung toward goal. Bernard registered a long distance shot as four Husker defenders closed in on her, but it once again clanked off the post and back to Nebraska.
Freshman Kennedy Bell tallied another near shot moments later. In the 31st minute, Lauren Wrigley sent a cross from the left side of the attacking third. The ball fell at the near post, and the Huskler’s attempt to clear it landed at Bell’s feet. She launched a left-footed shot to the post that was saved to keep the Terps scoreless.
Maryland finished Thursday with five shots on goal, the Terps’ most since Sept. 21 when they registered six against Purdue.
Nebraska needed just 19 minutes to take a lead that the Terps’ struggling offense couldn’t erase. Abbey Schwarz headed the ball to the penalty spot, where Sarah Weber was waiting. Weber’s shot deflected off the crossbar and off the back of goalkeeper Liz Beardsley into the net.
“That’s sort of our luck right now,” Nemzer said.
Maryland’s defense held strong as the Huskers developed early second half offensive chances. In the 49th minute, Dale slid past Eden White and neared Beardsley. Katie Coyle arrived at the penalty box before Dale could shoot to swipe the ball away.
But Dale, the nation’s leading goal scorer, eventually broke through Maryland’s defense. She logged her 20th score of the season in the game’s final minutes. Sarah Weber added another Nebraska goal in the 89th minute to punctuate the Terps’ fifth straight loss.
“[Dale] plays a huge part in what they do,” Nemzer said. “…definitely had to know where she was at all times…she’s always gonna get a few opportunities but I thought the backline did a good job.”