CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The No. 21 University of Maryland women’s soccer team battled No. 1 Virginia, but the Cavaliers took advantage of a defensive turnover to net the game’s lone goal just prior to the first half ending to take a 1-0 decision over the Terps Sunday afternoon at Klockner Stadium.
The Terrapins now stand at 6-5-0 for the season with a 2-3-0 mark in ACC play. The Cavaliers remain undefeated with an 11-0-0 overall record and 5-0-0 in the conference.
The match was scoreless and evenly contested right up until the 45th minute when a defensive turnover in Maryland’s back third gave the ball to Brittany Ratcliff and she chipped the ball over Terrapin sophomore keeper Rachelle Beanlands to put the Cavaliers up 1-0 with 22 seconds left on the clock.
Maryland had several quality chances in the opening half, beginning with a try from distance by freshman Lauren Berman in the 16th minute that was saved by Virginia’s Morgan Stearns.
Sophomore Riley Barger played a ball into the Wahoo box in the 33rd minute. Senior Hayley Brock worked to get some space and got onto the end of Barger’s cross, but Stearns was there once again to make the save.
Brock was dangerous again a minute later when she made and aggressive run down the right flank. She was able to get off a shot before two Virginia defenders collapsed on her, but her effort went just over the crossbar.
Beanlands was stout in the opening 45 despite the late goal. Virginia’s Gloria Douglas got a good look at the Maryland goal off of a corner kick sent beyond the back post in the 17th minute, but Beanlands was there to make the highlight-reel diving save. Beanlands also turned away quality looks from Ratcliff in the 31st minute and Amber Fry in the 44th.
The second half saw the Terps get their best opportunity of the match in the 57th minute when senior Megan Gibbons played a long ball from the back to freshman Natasha Ntone-Kouo, who played a diagonal ball forward to Brock. She was defended by a pair of Cavaliers, but Brock managed to create enough space to get off a shot, but she was robbed by the crossbar to keep Virginia in front 1-0.
Virginia had a good chance to up its advantage in the 68th minute when junior Shade Pratt was given a yellow card that gave the Cavaliers a free kick from 22 yards out on the left corner of the Maryland 18-yard box. Virginia’s Morgan Brian, who was held in check by the Terrapin defense all afternoon, took the free kick, but Beanlands, who finished the match with five saves, was in perfect position for the easy stop.
Gibbons had a good look at the goal in the 81st minute and took a chance at the upper right 90 from 24 yards out, but the ball went just wide of its mark.
Maryland had one final chance with eight second left when Virginia’s Emily Sonnett was issued a yellow card for a foul in the Cavaliers’ defensive third. Sophomore Shannon Collins played the free kick into the box, but the Terps could not get on the end of it cleanly and time expired on Maryland’s comeback bid.
“By no means am I happy with the result but I am certainly proud of our teams response from Thursday,” said Maryland head coach Jonathan Morgan. “Notre Dame bruised our ego pretty bad so to get the effort and performance we did today shows the character of these kids.
“Today was the most dangerous we've been in the past few games. We got in twice behind their back four for 1v1’s against the keeper and unfortunately weren't able to capitalize. The crossbar hasn't really been our friend the last couple of games either and today was no different. However, we have to take away the positives and continue to move forward. I know the results are about to come.”
The Terrapins return to College Park to face NC State at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 3 at Ludwig Field.