Aug. 20, 2011
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Junior Danielle Hubka scored the game's lone goal to give the No. 5/6 University of Maryland women's soccer team a hard-fought 1-0 victory over No. 22 Minnesota Friday night at Ludwig Field in the 2011 season opener.
"This is an outstanding first victory," said Maryland head coach Brian Pensky, who is beginning his seventh season at the helm of the Terrapin program. "Minnesota is a very difficult team to play. Their front seven presses all the time. For much of the game it was hard for us to find a rhythm. So a game like this becomes about competing, battling and being responsible and I thought we did all of those things tonight."
The game was evenly played going into the 20th minute, but that changed with a nice series of touches by the Terps. Junior defender Megan Gibbons played the ball into the middle of the field where redshirt junior Becky Kaplan deftly pushed the ball forward through the Golden Gopher back line. Hubka was able to win the foot race and get to the ball just inside the 18-yard box where she finished the ball into the upper left corner.
Minnesota had its best opportunity in the 33rd minute when it was awarded a free kick just outside the Maryland 18-yard box. Shari Eckstrom took the free kick and struck it well, but senior goalkeeper Yewande Balogun made an amazing diving save to preserve the 1-0 Maryland lead.
The Terps nearly got an insurance goal in the 82nd minute from sophomore Hayley Brock. Junior Olivia Wagner and Kaplan worked a nice give-and-go down the right sideline that ended with Wagner sending the ball to the near post. Brock fought off a Golden Gopher defender and got a piece of the ball with her right foot, but the redirection went just wide of the goal.
The biggest play of the second half for the Terps came from an unlikely source. Senior Kristen McAfee played the final 27 minutes in place of senior center back Mallory Baker and was solid. Some miscommunication in the defensive end of the field in the 88th minute led to an open-net opportunity for Minnesota's Sheridan Reiners, but McAfee raced back and was able to kick Reiners' shot away just before it could cross the goal line to tie the game.
The game was delayed by nearly two hours due to inclement weather in the area.
The Terps return to action on Monday, Aug. 22 when they travel into Baltimore to take on local rival Loyola at 7 p.m. at the Ridley Athletic Complex.