Terps Open Season With 1-0 Win Over #10 Tennessee
Aug. 25, 2006
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Freshman midfielder Emily Maynard started her college career with a bang, scoring the lone goal for the Maryland women's soccer team in its 1-0 victory over No. 10 Tennessee in the opening game of the Penn State Classic at Jeffrey Field in University Park, Pa.
The Terps (1-0) earned the victory in a fashion that has become a Maryland trademark over the past few seasons, with a hard-nosed defensive effort and an opportunistic offense that finishes its chances.
"I'm extremely proud of our team right now," said Terrapin head coach Brian Pensky. "With the work they put in during the spring and summer they deserved this win. We talk all the time about being connected, both verbally and non-verbally, and tonight we were connected in all areas of the field and that started with Nikki Resnick and our entire back line."
The Lady Vols (0-1) outshot the Terps 6-4 in the opening 45 minutes of play, but it was Maryland that had the best scoring opportunity. That came with just about three minutes left in the half when Tennessee was whistled for a hand-ball in the box, giving Maryland a penalty kick. Junior midfielder Shelley McDuff stepped in to take the shot and struck the ball well, sending a shot toward the lower right corner of the goal. But the goal was denied by the Lady Vols' goalkeeper Jaimel Johnson, who guessed correctly and made a diving save and then controlled the rebound.
The game, which was a physical contest throughout, remained scoreless until the 72nd minute when Maynard scored. The play began in Maryland's defensive third where freshman defender Brittany Cummins sent a pass from the right back position over Tennessee's back four to the far side of the left wing. Johnson was off her line in goal for Tennessee, but Maynard raced in from her left outside midfield spot and beat the keeper to the ball. The freshman from Munster, Ind., was able to punch the ball over the keeper with her laces from 35 yards out for her first collegiate goal on what proved to be Maryland's only shot of the second half.
"It was a class finish by Emily," said Pensky. "Brittany played a great ball behind their back line. For Emily to recognize their goalkeeper cheating off her line and then to be able to technically pull off getting it over the top from 35 yards away was special and fun to watch."
Now with the 1-0 lead, the Maryland defense stepped up its pressure and stifled the Tennessee attack, cutting off the Lady Vols from mounting an offensive threat through the midfield.
"Our centerbacks, Ashly Kennedy and Aimee Bresani, were very responsible tonight; the entire spine of our team was great. Shelley, Stevie Dunning and Molly Dreska really clogged up the center midfield and made it hard for Tennessee to play."
Resnick made five saves in goal for the Terps en route to picking up her 12th career shutout, moving her into a tie for third on the all-time list with former Terrapins Heather Rowe and Missy Price.
The victory over the 10th-ranked Lady Vols marks the first time in Maryland's 20-year history that it defeated a ranked team on the road in its season opener.
The Terrapins will take on another ranked foe on Sunday at the Penn State Classic when they meet No. 1 UCLA at 12 Noon. Maryland and the Bruins have met twice before with each team owning a victory. UCLA comes into the game 0-1 on the season, following a 3-1 loss to No. 3 Penn State on Friday night.
"This win tonight gives us an injection of confidence that our team deserves," said Pensky. "You only get so many opportunities to prove yourself against the best and that's what Sunday presents to us."