Aug. 23, 2008
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Freshman forward Lydia Hastings scored a pair of goals for the University of Maryland women's soccer team in the Terps' 5-0 rout of George Mason Saturday evening at Ludwig Field.
"This feels great," said fourth-year head coach Brian Pensky. "I'm so happy for out kids to start the season on the right foot."
It didn't take Hastings long to make her presence felt as the Rehoboth Beach, Del., native nearly got the Terps off to a fast start with a hard shot at the 2:10 mark that beat Patriot goalkeeper Melissa Mailley, but struck the right post.
Hastings wouldn't be denied in the 21st minute when she cleaned up a loose ball in front on the net for her first collegiate score. Sophomore forward Annesia Faulkner picked up the first of her two assists on the night on the score by sending a long cross from the far left corner into the box. Mailley was unable to control it and Hastings was there to pounce on the loose ball and finish it into the right side from nine yards out.
The Terps controlled the game for the remainder of the half and held onto their 1-0 lead after the first 45 minutes of play. The defense, which was anchored by center backs Mary Casey and Sade Ayinde, held Mason to just four shots in the first half, none of which were on goal.
"We've stressed defense all week long," said Pensky, "so it's rewarding for our back line and Yewande [Balogun] to have earned a shutout tonight."
Maryland's second goal again found Faulkner in the middle of the action. Senior captain Nataly Arias found Faulkner making a run down the left side and placed a great ball where Faulkner could run onto it and play a through-ball toward the middle of the field. That's where senior forward Kaila Sciascia made a run of her own, beat her defender and one-timed a shot past a diving Mailley for the 2-0 Terrapin lead.
The game turned even worse for the Patriots in the 73rd minute when Leslie Cabe was handed a red card, forcing Mason to play a man down for the remaining 17 minutes of the match.
It took the Terps only four minutes to capitalize on their advantage and take a 3-0 lead. The Patriots had the ball in their offensive third with a free kick following a Maryland foul, but the kick deflected off the Maryland wall and Sciascia came away with the loose ball cleanly. The Terps transitioned from defense to offense and had a three-on-one break. Out in front was freshman Ashley Grove and Sciascia played the ball ahead to Grove with no one between her and the goal but Mailley. Grove made one move and finished the ball into the right side of the net for her first collegiate score.
Hastings picked up her second score of the match in the 84th minute with assists going to fellow freshman Amy O'Sullivan and redshirt sophomore Molly Dreska, who was seeing action for the first time since October 8, 2006. Dreska slipped a pass in the midfield to O'Sullivan who found Hastings making a parallel run. O'Sullivan was able to get the ball to Hastings as the Patriot defense collapsed around her and Hastings finished a one-on-one opportunity into the right side of the goal.
The match seemed to be heading for a 4-0 final, but in the 90th minute with just six seconds remaining on the clock freshman Skyy Anderson struck a ball from 40 yards out on the right side of the field past Mailley, who was off of her line and unable to do anything but watch as the ball sailed into the upper left corner of the goal to give the Terps a 5-0 victory to kickoff their 2008 season.
"Obviously, given our history of 0-0 ties in home openers, scoring five goals is outstanding; and it's an indication of how explosive this team can be," said Pensky. "We're looking forward to a good week of training, because there are still plenty of areas we need to improve. But our kids are hungry and excited right now and will do whatever it takes to win soccer games."
Maryland continues its season-opening five-game home stand with a pair of games at Ludwig Field next weekend. The Terps are set to host Bucknell on Friday, August 29 at 7:00 p.m. before taking on Elon on Sunday, August 31 at 6:00 p.m.
With today's 5-0 win Maryland is 12-5-1 all-time against George Mason.
Maryland is now 12-8-2 all-time in season openers.
The Terps are now 8-2-3 all-time in home openers at Ludwig Field.
The 5-0 victory snapped a three-year stretch of 0-0 ties in home openers for the Terps.
The 5-0 win is the fourth straight shutout for the Terps in a home opener.
The five goals for the Terps are the most they have scored in a match since beating UMBC 6-0 on September 4, 2006.
Maryland's five goals are the most in a season opener since defeating Fordham by a 5-0 margin on August 30, 2002 at the UConn Classic in Storrs, Conn.
Five goals are the most for a Terrapin team in a home opener since 1999 when the Terps topped UMBC by a 6-1 final.