Sciascia Connects On Corner To Lift Terps Over Miami
Oct. 5, 2008
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Senior forward Kaila Sciascia scored the only goal of the match with just 22 seconds remaining in the first half to give the University of Maryland women's soccer team a hard-fought 1-0 victory over the Miami Hurricanes Sunday afternoon at Ludwig Field.
"I'm happy for our players to have earned a win in the ACC; it's so hard to get three points in this conference," said head coach Brian Pensky. "Having played well enough against both Wake Forest and Florida State, it was about time that our kids got a result and something tangible to hold onto.
After dominating the entire first half, the Terps were able to finally break through and get on the board as the final seconds ticked down. Freshman forward Dominique Vellutato made a great run on a through ball, racing Hurricane goalkeeper Vikki Alonzo to the ball. They got there at the same moment, but Vellutato was able to flick the ball off Alonzo for a corner kick. With time running out, freshman Ashley Grove hurried to take the corner kick and sent a low ball to the near post where Sciascia made a run and finished a one-timer into the lower right corner.
The Terps were all over the Hurricanes in the first half, out-shooting Miami 15-1. Maryland's starting midfield of Molly Dreska, Caitlin McDowell and Nataly Arias controlled the middle and set-up scoring opportunities for forwards Danielle Schulmann, Lydia Hastings and Jasmyne Spencer.
But it wasn't just the starters that gave Maryland its energy. Reserve forward Annesia Faulkner made herself a dangerous player, pressuring the Hurricane defense and getting a couple of good looks at the Miami goal. But what turned the game around was the hustle of Vellutato, who Pensky inserted into the game in the 43rd minute, less than two minutes before forcing the decisive corner.
"Our reserves gave us a spark at the end of the first half, which changed the game," said Pensky. "That's what we always hope to get from players coming off the bench."
The second half saw the Terps balance pushing the ball forward with protecting the one-goal lead. The Terrapin backline of Brittany Cummins, Becky Kaplan, Sade Ayinde and Skyy Anderson, who played the final 73 minutes of the match after Aimee Bresani broke her nose and had to leave the game, kept the Hurricane offense at bay and did not allow a shot on goal until the 61st minute when Miami started throwing numbers at the Terps.
Junior goalkeeper Mary Casey made three saves to earn her second shutout of the season, but was only really challenged once. Miami's Paulette Ricks-Cha sent a cross from the right side in the 78th minute to Beverly Goebel in the Maryland box. Goebel got off a good shot, but Casey reacted quickly and made a diving save. The ball got away from Casey and two Hurricanes convereged, looking at a wide-open net, but Kaplan was there for the Terps to clear the ball and end the scoring chance for Miami.
For Pensky, he hopes this win will deliver a message to his team. "We've continued to tell our kids how good we can be as a team, but our words get old after a while and they need something concrete to hold onto. Today's win gives them that."
Maryland (5-6-1, 1-3-0 ACC) will have seven days to prepare before returning to action on Sunday, Oct. 12 when it hosts the 9th-ranked Duke Blue Devils. The match is slated for a 1 p.m. start at Ludwig Field.