Sept. 2, 2012
COLLEGE PARK, MD. - Senior Olivia Wagner scored two goals and added an assist to lead the University of Maryland women's soccer team to a 5-0 shutout over Towson in the Terps' 2012 home opener Sunday afternoon at Ludwig Field.
The Terps improve to 3-1-1 on the season, while the Tigers fall to 0-4-1.
Senior midfielder Becky Kaplan picked up her third game-winning goal of the season for Maryland by putting the first tally on the board in the 15th minute. A Towson foul just past midfield gave the Terps a free kick, but instead of setting up a set piece Wagner played the ball quickly down the right flank where senior Megan Gibbons had plenty of room to bring the ball down and survey the field before playing a terrific cross inside the six-yard box where Kaplan one-timed it into the Tiger goal.
Towson's best opportunity came in the 21st minute, but it never actually had a chance to develop. A long ball was played over the top of the Maryland back line and senior center back Bailey Bodell slipped on the turn, giving the Tigers' Emily Banes what looked like a 1v1 opportunity with Terps' keeper Rachelle Beanlands. But, the linesman's flag went up and offsides was called to end the chance.
The Terps had a terrific opportunity in the 32nd minute when a Tiger defender dragged Maryland freshman Gabby Galanti down, giving the Terrapins a de facto corner kick on a free kick from the bottom right corner. Wagner sent a great ball toward the back post and freshman Alexis Prior-Brown got on the end of it, but her header went just left of the goal.
It looked like the match would head to halftime with the Terrapins leading 1-0, but Wagner had another idea. Galanti was near the top of the 18, but couldn't make a turn to face the Towson goal. so she played the ball back to Wagner, who got around one defender before ripping a shot from 25 yards into the lower left corner to make it a 2-0 game heading into the break.
It didn't take long for the lead to grow when the second half got underway. Junior Hayley Brock played the ball to freshman Ashley Spivey, who was making a good run down the right side. Spivey got the ball near the corner of the 18 and let loose with a blast that beat Tiger keeper Erin Quinn and found the lower left corner for the 3-0 lead in the 46th minute.
Wagner picked up her second goal with another big shot from distance in the 61st minute. A loose ball near the top of the Towson box was popped out by a Tiger defender, but it went right to Wagner and she laced a shot from 30 yards out to make it 4-0 for the Terps.
The final Maryland goal came in the 65th minute when Spivey played a terrific through ball to Brock, who converted the easy finish. Redshirt freshman Amanda Gerlitz earned her first career point with an assist on the score.
Beanlands finished with three saves in 57 minutes of action. Junior Shannon Zickler played the final 33 minutes and did not have to make a save.
"I'm really happy for our kids right now," said Maryland head coach Jonathan Morgan. "They worked really hard this week after coming home from a disappointing result in Columbus, Ohio. We were able to put together two very good performances and score some fantastic goals. You can't ask for much more as a coach.
"We are continuing to learn from our mistakes and I think it's evident in how we have been performing. We'll need to continue to learn because we play a very good Alabama team on the road this week and we'll need to be prepared for a difficult match."
Maryland heads back out on the road on Thursday, Sept. 6, when it heads to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to play Alabama. Kickoff for the Terps and Crimson Tide is set for 7 p.m. at the University of Alabama Soccer Complex.