Sept. 13, 2009
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Junior Molly Dreska put two balls in the back of the net, but only one went on the scoreboard for the University of Maryland women's soccer team in its 1-0 victory over James Madison Sunday afternoon at Ludwig Field.
"I thought it was a good game and if there is one thing I've learned is that any win is a good win," said Maryland head coach Brian Pensky. "At times we were really good and other times James Madison made it hard for us and sometimes we made it hard for ourselves. But, I'm proud of our kids. We knew James Madison was returning nine of 11 kids from a team that went to the Sweet 16 last year and return 38 of their 44 goals from last year, so we knew this was going to be a tough game and it was. I'm proud that we found a way to win a tough game. We went 0-0 in the first half, just like four or five of our previous games have gone, and we talked at halftime that this game would be won with guts and courage and being good in the final third. We got a goal to take the lead and then found a way to hold them off."
Dreska, who had not scored a goal during her Terrapin career prior to today, had a goal taken off the board when the referee blew an early whistle in the 47th minute. Maryland was awarded a penalty shot on the play, but Duke goalkeeper Diane Wszalek came up with the stop to keep the game scoreless.
That's how it would remain until the 60th minute when Dreska put in her first career goal. Sophomore Ashley Grove made a hard run down the left side and crossed the ball back to the middle of the field to Dreska. Dreska then tried a fake to buy some space, but the JMU defender played her tightly. That didn't matter, because Dreska created a sliver of space and rifled a shot to the back post, past a diving Wszalek, to give the Terps the 1-0 lead.
"I'm really happy for Molly," said Pensky. "She was sort of robbed of a goal early in the second half on the PK situation and she battled through that, kept fighting and broke through with her first career goal. She has so much guts and so much fight and she's meant so much to this program over the past four years that it's good to see her get the game-winner."
Maryland continued to try to press offensively, but could not break through with an insurance goal. That left the defense with the responsibility of protecting a one-goal lead and a team-centric approach paid off with the Terrapins holding James Madison without a shot on goal in the second half. Maryland's backline of Brittany Cummins, Skyy Anderson, Mallory Baker and Megan Watson kept the Dukes away from the Maryland goal, helping senior goalkeeper Mary Casey to her fifth shutout victory of the season.
The win ups the Terrapins' record to a perfect 7-0 with one game remaining in its non-conference schedule. Maryland will host Brown on Friday night at Ludwig Field with the opening kick schedule for 7 p.m.