Olivia Reese kicking against George Washington (via Zach Bland/Maryland Athletics)

Preview: Maryland Women’s soccer hopes to shake off draw in upcoming two-game slate

By Ben Strober

After an impressive 4-1 start to its season, Maryland Women’s soccer was left puzzled following a 0-0 draw on Sunday against a winless Saint Joseph’s.

 A forgettable offensive performance left the game on the shoulders of their keeper Liz Brucia. Brucia was outstanding, saving the three shots on goal, and keeping Saint Joseph’s from netting their first goal all season.

Nevertheless, the Terps now turn their attention to two tough teams this week, matching up against Penn on Thursday and Wake Forest on Sunday.

Penn has had a strong start to their season, starting off 2-1-1 with their one loss coming to 25th ranked Hofstra on Sunday. Thus far this season, Penn appears to be a strong team defensively. One of their wins was a shutout victory over Illinois Chicago. The most goals Penn has given up in a game this season was three, against a tough Hofstra team.

Wake Forest may be the toughest team they play all season. In six games, The Deacons are 6-0, and have yet to surrender a goal in the regular season.

The Terps’ upcoming matchup with Wake Forest will look to be a defensive clinic, as the Demon Deacons have yet to give up a goal to any team they’ve faced so far. 

Also, Wake has averaged 2.67 goals per game so far this season. Maryland, however, only averaged 1.83 goals per game so far. Brucia likely will need to be a stone wall once again for the Terps to find their way back into the win column.

Brucia so far has 12 saves this season, while other teams have 30 against them. If Maryland can control possession like they did in the first half against Saint Joseph’s, it will give them a better chance to get out to an early lead.

Another area of concern for the Terps’ offense thus far has been accuracy. In 105 shots, only 45 of them have been on goal so far. Against Saint Joseph’s, Mikayla Dayes was generating most of the offensive chances for Maryland. 

After winning zero games all season last year, the Terps have already shown vast improvements in their young fall 2021 season. However, following a step back in the team’s last contest against Saint Joseph’s, it’s now on Maryland to respond accordingly in order to keep their strong start rolling as the season progresses.