Another frustrating evening for the Terrapins ended in defeat as a controversial penalty call went in favor of the Fighting Illini.
Fifty-six minutes into the match, Illinois (8-5-0, 3-3-0) winger Hope Breslin danced around the Maryland (3-7-4, 1-4-1) defense and dribbled into the box. Anissa Mose challenged Breslin and made contact with her, Breslin fell to the ground, and the ref awarded a penalty.
It certainly was a tough decision that could have gone either way, but for a Maryland team who has not had much go their way recently, it was just another bump in the road.
Breslin tucked the penalty into the bottom left corner to give Illinois a 1-0 lead, the final score of the match.
“The call was made, that’s all I can say,” a frustrated Maryland head coach Ray Leone said after the match. “You’re down a goal, our kids have struggled scoring, so [the penalty call] feels like more than that.”
The penalty was the punctuation mark on a 10-minute stretch where the Fighting Illini dominated possession and had the lion’s share of opportunities. Just a couple minutes before the penalty, Breslin had dribbled around the Maryland back four but sprayed a shot wide.
“My hat’s off [to Illinois] 100 percent,” Leone said. “No matter how it ended up, they just played better.”
The Fighting Illini outshot Maryland 12-10, and controlled various stretches of the match.
The game was delayed as a storm rolled through College Park, stopping the game for almost 45 minutes as poor weather blew through.
Maryland was stagnant coming out of the break as Illinois had much of the possession in the second half.
The Terps now find themselves winless in their last five matches, and are currently carrying a 294-minute scoreless drought. Maryland had just one shot on goal all night.
“We can always do a lot of things better,” sophomore midfielder Hope Lewandowski said. “At the end of the day we just got to find the back of the net.”
Maryland has a quick turn around now, with another match Sunday at home against Northwestern.
“It’s a new game, fresh start,” Lewandowski said. “We just focus on everything good we got going and just put everything into that game, put this one behind us.”
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