Aug. 26, 2011
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The heavyweight showdown between the No. 4 University of Maryland women's soccer team and No. 1 Stanford ended in a 0-0 tie Friday night at Ludwig Field.
"Tonight was a tale of two halves," said Maryland head coach Brian Pensky. "Stanford is a terrific team and a terrific program and I think we were a little passive at the start. Gradually, through the first half and into the second we started to realize we could play with them."
The Cardinal (2-0-1) had a 10-2 advantage in shots in the first half, but many were from range. Those that were on net were kept out of the net by some spectacular efforts by senior goalkeeper Yewande Balogun, who made five of her 11 saves in the first 45 minutes of play.
But the Terps were not without opportunities in the first half and nearly took the lead in the 44th minute. Senior Sade Ayinde collected the ball in the left slot roughly 40 yards from the goal. She patiently waited for an opening and found one in the form of junior Olivia Wagner, who made a great run down the middle of the field. Ayinde sneaked the ball through two Stanford defenders to get it to Wagner in stride. But, Wagner's effort sailed just over the crossbar to keep it a 0-0 game going into halftime.
The second half saw the Terp control the flow of the game, out-shooting the Cardinal 11-5, but like Balogun in the first half, Stanford keeper Emily Oliver was up to the challenge, making four of her seven saves in the second 45 minutes of the game.
Maryland's first quality opportunity came in the 74th minute. A miss-hit on a Stanford clearing attempt sent a high ball near the left alley where junior Danielle Hubka deftly settled it before playing a brilliant through ball to sophomore Hayley Brock. Brock used her strength to fight off a defender and her speed to get to the ball, but her sliding shot went just left of the goal.
Another chance for the Terps came in the 84th minute when a simple throw-in by junior Megan Gibbons to redshirt junior Becky Kaplan nearly turned into a goal. Kaplan took Gibbons' throw near the top right corner of the 18-yard box. Kaplan was patient with the ball at her feet before used a quick turn to create some space and a shot, but the ball sailed wide right.
Stanford had a chance late in the second half on a free kick from roughly 10 yards off of the right corner of the Maryland 18-yard box. Cardinal midfielder Teresa Noyola played the ball into the box, but Wagner was in the right spot to head the ball away from danger.
Both teams continued to battle through the overtime periods and each team managed to get off four shots.
For the game, Stanford out-shot the Terps, 19-17, but Maryland finished with eight corner kicks to the Cardinal's six.
"Statistics don't lie," said Pensky. "At the end of 110 minutes they had a few more shots than we did and we had a few more corners than they had. Those two stats balance each other out and are indicative of a very well played game."
The Terps will return to action on Monday, Aug. 29 vs. Navy at 4 p.m. at Ludwig Field. That match was originally scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 28 at 1 p.m., but is being postponed due to potential inclement weather from Hurricane Irene. The Maryland-Navy women's game will be followed by the Maryland men's soccer team hosting West Virginia at 7 p.m.