By Ben Strober
Looking to grab its fifth win of the season against Saint Joseph’s on a rainy Sunday, Maryland Women’s soccer couldn’t muster any offense, resulting in their first 0-0 draw of the 2021 season.
As the Terps made its way to Philadelphia, they looked to continue their strong start. Coming off an impressive bounce-back victory against George Washington, taking down the Colonials 3-1, Maryland was looking to keep things rolling and improve to 5-1 on the season.
Maryland got off to a quick start, getting three shots on goal in the first ten minutes of play. Maryland’s first real scoring chance came on a corner kick where the ball trickled out and Mikayla Dayes put a shot on net from just over 15 yards out.
This quick start was fools gold, however, as Maryland had a rough day offensively from then on.
Maryland controlled possession early, as 15 minutes into the game, Saint Joseph’s was still yet to have any offensive plays. Through their first five games, Maryland has done an exceptional job controlling the pace of the game. In their only loss thus far, Navy was able to control the game, and ultimately dominate, winning 3-1.
Saint Joseph’s goalkeeper Katie Cappelletti proved to be strong throughout, racking up nine total saves. Maryland was keeping the pressure on, outshooting the Hawks 18-9 through regular time.
Shortly before halftime, Saint Joseph’s had a dangerous scoring opportunity coming off a free-kick that bounced around in a tight, crowded area around the goal. Following this chance, Saint Joseph’s began to regain some control. Despite this, the first half closed out still with no score by either team.
Opening the second half, Saint Joseph’s picked up where they left off, grabbing two good chances on a cross attempt and a long shot. The Terps however, were able to get one of their best shots all day, when Catherine DeRosa’s attempt sailed just over the crossbar. Even with a multitude of chances, the game remained scoreless.
As play continued, neither team had worked up a scoring chance good enough to put their team on the board. Possession was changing often, and both teams were having to play keep away.
Maryland’s goalkeeper Liz Brucia, who had been holding down the fort all day, made an incredible save to keep the game scoreless with 30 minutes left in regulation. Brucia leaped all the way, and knocked away a shot that was curving to her left.
Saint Joseph’s was all around the goal in the second half. Still looking for their first goal of the season, the Hawks were creating all kinds of pressure to get on the board. St. Joseph’s opened the second half with a 7 to 1 favor in shots. Maryland was struggling offensively.
With 12 minutes to go, Dayes released a strike right in front of the net. Cappelletti made another big save, knocking it over the goal. Both sides looked for just one chip to fall their way, but stifling defense on both sides kept that from fruition.
As it got into crunch time, intensity picked up as both teams desperately looked to get a goal on the scoreboard. Saint Joseph’s was dominating in shots, but none of them had found the net yet.
Ultimately, the 90 minutes was not enough. Neither team had scored through regulation, and they head to overtime.
In overtime, the first period featured little scoring chances and lots of changes in possession. 100 minutes in, neither side could seem to break through.
With four minutes to go, Saint Joseph’s played a beautiful ball in, but offsides was the call and play was stopped.
110 minutes after the opening kick, neither team was able to find their shot in the back of the net, and the game ended in an uneventful 0-0 draw. A very tight game defensively ultimately led to Brucia being the unsung hero today for Maryland. Brucia made some terrific saves, especially down the stretch that kept this game from ending in a loss.
Maryland now falls to 4-1-1, getting their first draw of the season. The Terps will take on a tough Penn team next Thursday, looking to bounce back from a day full of offensive struggles.
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