COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Senior Hayley Brock scored the final three goals to propel the No. 17 University of Maryland women’s soccer team to a 4-2 come-from-behind victory over Villanova Monday night at Ludwig Field.
Maryland head coach Jonathan Morgan was pleased with the result, but just as importantly was pleased with the leadership and character his team displayed in the win.
“We’ve talked a lot about where our leadership was going to come from this season,” said Morgan. “We lost a lot of leaders from last year’s squad, but we had people step up and show their character and display leadership tonight. Our players were not going to settle for leaving this field tonight with a loss.
“We played a good Villanova team that came in with a good game plan, but in the end we showed the type of team chemistry and consistent effort for 90 minutes that it takes to be successful at this level.”
The Terrapins (2-0-0) trailed 2-1 until the 83rd minute despite playing for much of the second half with a man advantage after Villanova’s Kathryn Rayner was sent off with a red card after taking Brock down on a breakaway.
But in the 83rd minute sophomore Ashley Spivey settled a loose ball just outside the Villanova defensive third and lofted a pass for Brock over the Wildcats’ back line. Villanova keeper Jami Kranich, who finished with eight saves in the match, came off of her line to get the ball, but Brock was too fast and got to it first and went around Kranich and finished into an empty Villanova goal to tie the match at 2-2.
Less than two minutes later Brock displayed a drive to win and some blazing speed to score the game-winning goal. She came back into the Maryland defensive side of the field to win the ball for the Terps and dribbled through the entire Villanova defense before finishing from the right side past Kranich into the lower left corner of the Wildcats’ goal.
The Acton, Mass., native then capped off her natural hat trick outrunning the Nova defense onto a long ball played over the top by sophomore goalkeeper Rachelle Beanlands. Once again Brock finished the play from the right side into the lower left corner.
“Hayley Brock’s will to win and leadership really came through in her performance tonight from her voice to her work rate,” said Morgan. “Earlier today Hayley led a meeting with all of the attacking players and, whatever was said in that meeting, the response of the field was noticible.”
The first half saw the Terps dominate play with the Wildcats managing just two shots, but both found the net and resulted from defensive miscues by the Terps.
Villanova’s Reanna Marino gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute converting on a Maryland turnover with a 1v1 chance and a hard low finish from inside the Terrapin 18.
The Nova lead grew to 2-0 in the 23rd minute when Katie Martin got past the Terps’ backline and took advantage when Beanlands came off of her line and Martin was able to score from in close.
Maryland cut its deficit to just one goal in the 40th minute on junior Cory Ryan’s first goal of the season. Sophomore Shannon Collins played the ball down the left slot and Ryan outran two Wildcat defenders to get to the ball. Ryan then got off a low-angle shot from in close that snuck past Villanova keeper Jami Kranich.
“While we’re excited to get this win over a good Villanova team, we’re going to put it behind us, go through our routine and get ready for George Mason on Friday,” said Morgan. “We will learn from our mistakes and build off of what worked and get ready to give a solid effort for 90 minutes vs. a good George Mason team.”
Maryland returns to action on Friday, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. vs. George Mason at Ludwig Field. The match will be streamed live on TerpsTV.