Sept. 13, 2012
COLLEGE PARK, MD. - Juniors Alex Reed and Hayley Brock scored and the Terrapin defense held strong in the University of Maryland women's soccer team's 2-1 victory over No. 6 North Carolina Thursday night at Ludwig Field.
The victory for the Terps is the third straight over the Tar Heels and marks the first-time ever that UNC has lost three consecutive games to the same opponent in three successive seasons. The only other team Carolina has lost three consecutive games to was Santa Clara in 1999, 2000 and 2002.
Maryland improves to 5-2-1 overall and is 1-0-0 in conference play. The victory is also the first win in an ACC opener for the Terps since 2001. UNC falls to 4-2-1 on the year and 0-1-0 in ACC play.
"I'm so proud of how our team responded from last Sunday," said Maryland head coach Jonathan Morgan. "The Fordham game was a dagger to our heart. It would have been very easy for our kids to feel sorry for themselves and lack confidence going into this game versus UNC. Instead, our team rolled up their sleeves and got to work this week. They had a great energy and focus for tonight's game. It's great to see the girls be rewarded for their hard work."
The Terrapins played inspired, passionate soccer and pressured the Tar Heels from the outset.
Maryland's first quality scoring chance came in the eighth minute. Senior Danielle Hubka took the ball down the right side of the field and instead of forcing a cross she played the ball back out for freshman Ashley Spivey, who crossed it into the 18-yard box. Sophomore Cory Ryan got on the end of the cross and had some space, but her volley went over the crossbar.
Brock's aggressive play nearly put the Terps on the board in the 10th minute. Senior Olivia Wagner played a terrific long ball, settling it over the UNC backline, but with enough room for Brock to run onto it. Brock took a great first touch off of her knee to create some space. UNC keeper, Adelaide Gay, came off of her line, but Brock's shot sailed over the goal to keep the match scoreless.
Brock continued to harass UNC's defenders in the 23rd minute. A goal kick by Gay was met with a long header by Spivey, sending the ball from the middle of the Terrapin half of the field where Brock got to it and raced down the right alley. Brock got off a solid shot to the far post, but it went just left of the goal.
Maryland finally broke through in the 40th minute. Ryan dribbled the ball to the interior of the field from her left midfield spot. With UNC defenders closing in, she slipped the ball to freshman Alexis Prior-Brown. Gay once again came off of her line to try to get the ball before Prior-Brown, but Prior-Brown was able to get a piece of it and get it to Reed, who was able to get off a solid strike at the goal. A UNC defender tried to deflect the ball away, but was late getting in front of the net and the Terps had a 1-0 lead.
The Terps continued to take the fight to UNC in the second half. Senior Becky Kaplan got a step on her defender in the 51st minute and had a clear shot at the Carolina goal, but Bryane Heaberlin, who took over in goal for the Tar Heels at the start of the second half, was well-positioned and made the save to keep it a one-goal game.
It wouldn't stay a one-goal game for long as Brock netted the game-winner in the 55th minute. Hubka played the ball down the left alley for Kaplan to make a run. She got there ahead of the UNC defenders and was able to play a low, hard cross across the face of the Carolina goal. The pass was placed perfectly between Hearberlin and the Tar Heel defender and Brock was right there to bang the ball home from six-yards out.
After that, North Carolina played with desperation, but could not break through the defensive effort of the Terps. That is until the 78th minute when the referee called a foul on a Maryland defender just inside the right side of the 18-yard box, giving the Tar Heels a penalty kick. Maria Lubrano, who drew the foul, stepped up to the spot and buring the penalty kick into the lower right corner to make it a 2-1 game.
But Maryland's defense, led by Wagner and the back line of senior Domenica Hodak, sophomore Shade Pratt and freshmen Shannon Collins and Erika Nelson, refused to give up quality shots to the Tar Heels.
Carolina did have one opportunity as the game wound down, but redshirt freshman Rachelle Beanlands came up with the huge save, tipping a Satara Murray shot over the crossbar in the 83rd minute.
Beanlands finished the game with two saves, both coming in the second half. Gay and Heaberlin each had two saves for the Tar Heels.
"We lost important players this week and it was great to see first time starters Shade Pratt and Cory Ryan step in and perform at the level they did," said Morgan. "Their contributions were huge tonight. We'll enjoy it tonight but our focus tomorrow will become Clemson."
Maryland returns to action on Sunday, Sept. 16 when it hosts Clemson at 1 p.m. at Ludwig Field.