Sept. 14, 2007
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The match went 110 minutes, but in the end it only took seconds for Nataly Arias to head in a corner kick from Kaila Sciascia for the University of Maryland women' soccer team to pull out a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Dartmouth Friday night at Ludwig Field.
For Terps' head coach Brian Pensky the win, and the way Maryland won, summed up who the Terrapins are. "We're a team that is going to scratch and claw for every inch and tonight was an example of that. This was a big time team win. The positive energy from our bench was outstanding and the play from our reserves got us over the top."
A quick look at the box score won't tell the whole story of the Terps' game-winning goal, which would never have happened without an outstanding effort from sophomore Maureen Dowling. The sophomore from Massapequa, N.Y., pushed the ball into the far left side of the Big Green defensive zone and worked to earn the corner kick that led to Arias' header.
"Maureen [Dowling], Emily [Maynard] and Kailia [Sciascia] all came off the bench to directly contribute to this win," said Pensky. "And once again, Nataly [Arias] proved how great she is in the air."
Arias, a redshirt junior who missed all of last season due to injury, finished a brilliant serve from Sciascia with a clean header into the left center of the Dartmouth net. For Arias the goal marked her third career game-winner and the first since September 30, 2005.
The game was evenly played through the first 45 minutes, but the Terps came out from halftime with good energy and pushed the pace, challenging the Big Green defense.
Freshman Caitlin McDowell nearly put away her first collegiate goal in the 53rd minute, but Dartmouth goalkeeper Laurel Peaks was able to get her fingertips on the shot and the ball grazed the crossbar and went over the goal.
Peaks was saved again by the crossbar in the 68th minute when Arias corralled a loose ball facing away from the Big Green goal near the top of the 18-yard box. With the ball at her feet for less than a second, Arias turned and one-timed a shot, hoping to catch Peaks off guard, but Peaks was able to get a piece of the shot and the ball again went off the crossbar, setting up one of Maryland's seven corner kicks.
Despite being out-shot 19-7 in regulation, Dartmouth came out in the first overtime and controlled the tempo and put pressure on the Terrapin defense. But Maryland's defense proved to be up to the challenge, led by freshman goalkeeper Yewande Balogun, who made a career-high seven saves.
"Our backline and goalkeeper were solid again," said Pensky. "This is a well deserved third shutout of the season for our defense and our team."
Maryland needed a spark in the game's final 10 minutes and it came from sophomore midfielder Emily Maynard. With the game winding down, Maynard helped the Terps control the middle of the field and attack the Big Green defense. She nearly ended the game herself in the 107th minute when she was on the receiving end from a nifty through-ball from Sciascia. Maynard got off a clean shot in a one-on-one situation with Peaks, but the ball sailed wide left of the goal by inches.
Maryland plays the middle match of its three-game home-stand on Sunday, September 16, against George Mason. The Terps and the Patriots will kick things off at 7 p.m. at Ludwig Field.