Maryland women’s soccer, sitting at the bottom of the Big Ten standings and long-ago eliminated from the conference tournament, didn’t have much to play for in its final match Sunday.
But the Terps still had a goal — not finishing the season scoreless in Big Ten play. They couldn’t achieve it, falling to No. 19 Indiana 2-0 in their tenth conference contest on a listless senior day showing in College Park.
Maryland (3-10-5, 0-9-1 Big Ten) ended the season on a 42-day scoring drought.
Seven seniors were honored Sunday ahead of the match. Coach Meghan Ryan Nemzer praised them postgame.
“I’m really proud of what they’ve done and we’ll continue to fight to make sure that we continue to build,” Nemzer said.
The Terps looked to control the majority of ball possession off the starting whistle, something they’ve struggled with recently. Those issues continued in the season finale as the Hoosiers scored first.
Indiana (12-2-4, 6-2-2 Big Ten) goalkeeper Jamie Gerstenberg rolled the ball out to defender Anna Bennett in the 17th minute. The Hoosiers midfielder quickly pushed up the sideline and sent a long through ball to space between Paige Webber and Halle Johnson.
Webber raced ahead and beat Johnson to the ball, poking a shot past goalkeeper Liz Beardsley for an early 1-0 lead.
The Hoosiers continued their offensive dominance and pressed the Terps’ defense. Zoe Tiger crossed the ball to the penalty marker in the 28th minute. The ball bounced over both Maryland and Indiana players and eventually landed on Webber’s head.
Beardsley followed Webber’s powerful header and shoved it over the crossbar for a Hoosier corner kick.
Nemzer’s team entered halftime down 1-0, a slight improvement from being down 3-0 in Thursday’s loss to Wisconsin. The Terps had three first-half shots compared to the Hoosiers’ ten. Maryland finished the game with 12 less shots than Indiana.
The Hoosiers drove past the Terps’ defense to begin the second half. Natasha Kim sent a ball across the pitch in the 48th minute to Bennett in the penalty box. Bennett’s one-time shot deflected off the far post and instead trickled out for a Maryland goal kick.
Maryland launched its best response in the 51st minute off Peyton Bernard’s left foot. Hannah Schapiro, alone in space, found the Terps’ forward running down the pitch. Bernard surged toward the penalty box and danced around two defenders to free herself. The freshman scorched a left-footed shot that just sailed over the crossbar.
Nemzer thought Bernard’s last two performances were both “phenomenal”.
“I expected her to come in and continue to grow,” Nemzer said. “I expect her to have a good spring season and become a leader of that freshman class.”
The Hoosiers doubled their lead in the 67th minute. Indiana set up a free kick right outside the penalty box. Bennett’s ball curled into a flock of defenders and attackers but found Sofia Black’s feet. The Indiana midfielder’s tap-in skipped into the goal.
Even after, Maryland had 23 minutes to salvage something from conference play with a goal. It did not and instead enters a long offseason with that drought hanging over it.