Aug. 28, 2009
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Goals by freshmen Olivia Wagner and Caitlin Mooney propelled the University of Maryland women's soccer team to a 2-0 victory over Seton Hall on Friday night at Ludwig Field. The win gives the Terps their first 3-0 start to a season since 1996.
"I thought we were a little slow to start out tonight, but give credit to Seton Hall. They're very well coached and organized and they made it hard for us," said head coach Brian Pensky. "But over the course of the first half we increased our pressure and improved our possession and got better overall. We corrected some things at halftime and we really started playing much better in the second half."
The corrections certainly worked as the Terps dominated play in the second half. The Maryland offensive pressure culminated in the 51st minute on Wagner's first collegiate goal. The Terps forced a throw-in deep in the Pirate defensive zone. Senior Megan Watson took the return ball back from junior Caitlin Mooney and passed it to junior Molly Dreska in the midfield. Dreska then eluded a Seton Hall defender and found Wagner with space 30 yards in front of the goal in the middle of the field. Wagner one-touched the ball a few yards before blistering a low shot that was too much for Pirate goalkeeper Jennifer Pettigrew to handle.
The Terps held on to the 1-0 lead, but kept the pressure on the Seton Hall defense. Sophomore Sade Ayinde, who played center back for the Terps last year, came off the bench as a forward and made her presence felt with three shots. Freshman Danielle Hubka was also impressive coming off the bench with her aggressive play. But it was Mooney, another reserve, who gave Maryland its insurance goal in the 81st minute.
Wagner started the play by sending a ball into the far left corner of Seton Hall's defensive zone for sophomore Becky Kaplan. Kaplan was able to outrun a Pirate defender to the ball, turn and find Mooney inside the Pirate box with a quick cross. Mooney, who was running toward the ball, then got off a quick shot with her left foot and sneak the ball into the lower right corner of the Seton Hall goal.
Maryland's defense was solid all evening and limited the Pirates to one shot on goal and just two shots overall. The starting backline of Brittany Cummins, Mallory Baker, Skyy Anderson and Megan Watson played a tremendous game and freshman Erica Page proved up to the task when she had to replace Cummins midway through the second half due to a minor injury.
"This is a great way to start the season," said Pensky. "We're feeling really good right now, but we still have a lot of work left to do. I think we've shown the ability to put the ball in the back of the net and the ability to defend teams, with Seton Hall having only two shots tonight, but we're still looking to improve."
The Terps will look to continue their hot start to the 2009 season when it returns to action Tuesday night against in-state rival Loyola. Opening kick is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Ludwig Field.