CLEMSON, S.C. - The No. 21 University of Maryland women’s soccer team went into overtime for the first time in 2013, but didn’t have to stay long as sophomore Ashley Spivey netted the game-winning goal early in the 96th minute to lift the Terps to a 2-1 victory over Clemson at Historic Riggs Field.
Spivey’s game-winner was setup by senior Hayley Brock, who ran down a deep ball into the far right corner of the field in Tiger territory. Two Clemson defenders came at Brock, who entered the game tied for the conference lead in goals scored, but she got off a good low service to the feet of junior Cory Ryan inside the Tigers’ 18. Clemson keeper Kailen Sheridan slid over to guard on a shot by Ryan, but she played the ball across the six-yard box to Spivey who was wide open for what amounted to an open net goal for the win.
The victory moved the Terps to 5-2-0 overall on the season and 1-0-0 in conference play. The Tigers dropped to 2-2-2 on the year and 0-1-0 in the ACC. The victory is just the fourth time in Maryland’s 27-year history that it opened its conference season with a road win. The only other conference-opening road wins for the Terps came in 1995 (5-1 at Florida State), 1996 (4-0 at Wake Forest) and 2001 (2-0 at Duke).
“I'm very proud of our girls tonight,” said Maryland head coach Jonathan Morgan. “They showed a tremendous amount of guts and toughness. This wasn't by any means the prettiest soccer, but it was two teams competing and giving everything they had to find a way to get a result. I love the fact our kids dug their heels in to pull this win out.”
A turnover by Clemson defender Kylie Tawney proved costly for the Tigers when Brock intercepted the errant pass and dribbled through the Clemson defense before finishing with a sliding shot into the upper left corner of the Tiger net in the 35th minute.
The Terps had a couple of other quality chances in the opening half, but Sheridan made stops on efforts by senior Megan Gibbons in the 39th minute and another good chance for Brock in the 43rd minute.
Maryland would only hold that 1-0 lead until the 51st minute when a questionable handball call on junior Shade Pratt inside the Terps’ 18 gave Clemson a penalty kick. Maryland sophomore keeper Rachelle Beanlands guessed correctly on the attempt by Catrina Atanda, but the Tigers’ freshman had enough on the shot to get it past Beanlands and tie the match at 1-1.
The Terps showed terrific possession near the 65-minute mark and were rewarded with another quality opportunity as Spivey lifted a cross into the Clemson box where Brock got on the end of it with a quick header toward the left post, but Sheridan adjusted to the redirection in time to make the save.
Clemson battled back and had a good chance of its own in the 76th minute, but Abby Jones’ shot from inside the Maryland 18 was turned away by Beanlands and sophomore Shannon Collins cleared the rebound before a Tiger could run onto the loose ball.
Gibbons picked off another stray Tiger pass and moved the ball up the right side to redshirt sophomore Alex Doody, who crossed the ball into the box for Brock. She got off a quick turn-and-shoot, but that shot went wide right of the Clemson net in the 82nd minute.
Clemson got a chance off of a Maryland turnover in the 86th minute, but Tabitha Padgett took one touch too many and reduced her own angle too severely and her shot deflected weakly off of the left post.
The match went into the first overtime and Clemson had the first opportunity after a foul on sophomore Sarah Molina gave the Tigers a free kick just across midfield into Maryland territory. The kick was sent into the Maryland 18 where Paige Rickert was able to flick on a header, but Beanlands was there to make her fifth save of the match, which in turn set the stage for Spivey’s game-winner.
“We had some obstacles to overcome, but we didn’t let that stop us," said Morgan. "We had to make three changes to our lineup because of injuries. We just returned to College Park on Monday night from our California trip, and then we have to do a quick turnaround to fly down here and play a very much improved Clemson team in front of their crowd. We were dead tired.
“We could have felt sorry for ourselves and used the adversity as an excuse and not bring the energy necessary to compete, but instead we embraced the challenge. It was great to see the resiliency. We'll give the girls some much needed rest and focus our sights on Virginia Tech.”
The Terps improve to 30-25-43 (.526) all-time in 98 overtime matches.
With her three points on a goal and an assist Brock moves into third place on the all-time points list at Maryland with 68 career points. She is also fourth on the career goals list with 27, just one away from tying Randi Goldblatt (1991-94) for third all-time.
The Terrapins will have a week off to rest and prepare for its next match, which will be back at Ludwig Field on Thursday, Sept. 19 when Maryland hosts Virginia Tech. The Terps and the Hokies are slated for a 7 p.m. start and the match is scheduled to be streamed on TerpsTV.