Loren Sefcik jostles for position (via Zach Bland/Maryland Athletics)

Maryland women’s soccer fails to capitalize on offensive opportunities, draws with Nebraska, 0-0

By Ben Strober

When Toni Domingos found herself one on one with the goalie, the Terps’ bench began to stand in anticipation for her shot. However, her shot was well off target. It was one of many blown chances for Maryland women’s soccer Thursday, as the Terps left the pitch with a tie for the third time this season.

The Terps outshot the Cornhuskers 15-10, but couldn’t capitalize on their offensive opportunities in a 0-0 draw to push their record to 4-3-3.

Following Sunday’s loss to Ohio State in which Maryland struggled offensively, the Terps came out firing to open the first half against the Cornhuskers.

Just four minutes in, Kori Locksley nearly made a statement goal for Maryland. After a nice tackle on the Nebraska middie, Lauren Sefcik made a beautiful through ball that found Locksley right in front of the net. However, Nebraska goalie Samantha Hauk narrowly deflected Locksley’s shot away as she dove out.

Just three minutes later, Locksley once again found herself with a breakaway opportunity. However, Locksley took a bad touch, and it ultimately put her out of position to make a good shot at goal.

Early on, Maryland found success at attacking Nebraska’s back line from the middle. Both of the Terps’ chances thus far came from balls that found the holes in the middle of their defense.

Nebraska nearly broke the stalemate when Eleanor Dale headed a ball way up into the air, and caught Liz Brucia off guard. The ball sailed over Brucia’s head, but the ball found the inside of the post and stayed right on the goal line. 

Throughout the first half, Maryland’s passing was showing to be more polished than the previous games. The overall ball movement was improving, which was leading to more offensive chances for Maryland.

Toni Domingos, who had been a spark for the Terps, found herself getting a yellow card just three minutes after being substituted into the game.

The yellow card didn’t stop Domingos from trying to create plays. In the 35th minute, Domingos received a long pass which she headed over the head of the defender. Domingos then sprinted by and was left with an open chance. 

With the goalie out of position, Domingos was unable to control her shot, and she missed to the right and high. With all the chances they’d had, the Terps only hurt themselves in the first half.

As the first half concluded, neither team was able to find the back of the net. However, Maryland led in shots five to two, and overall was dominating Nebraska offensively.

The first chance of the second half was another close one for the Terps. Locksley snuck a ball through two defenders, and found an opening. Locksley took one dribble, and made a left-footed strike from 22 yards out. Locksley’s shot, however, was just high.

Moments later, Mikayla Dayes found herself with a small opening just outside the box. Dayes saw her shot and she let loose, but missed just over the bar. 

The blown chances didn’t stop there. One minute later, Dayes played a beautiful cross that found Sefcik wide open in the box. Sefcik’s one touch shot sailed miles over the net, another missed opportunity for the Terps.

In the 71st minute, Sefcik once again found herself in a similar position, and again, she missed high. With Maryland leading in shots 12-5, it was puzzling how no one had been able to score this point.

One of Nebraska’s better chances came when they were rewarded a free kick just outside the box. Grace Brown delivered a nice strike, but Madeline Smith made a leaping save to keep the game tied.

As time winded down, Nebraska was starting to pick it up offensively, and got up four unanswered shots. With 45 seconds to go, Nebraska nearly broke the Terps’ hearts when a header off a corner kick just barely missed, and hit the outside netting. Regulation came to an end, and once again, the Terps were hoping to pull it off in overtime.

But once again, it was no dice for either squad. For the third time this season, Maryland needed a second overtime to decide a game.

In the second overtime, Dayes once again just barely sailed over the bar as her shot looked as if it was going to give the Terps’ the win. Ultimately, 110 minutes wasn’t enough once again.

A stellar game for the defense was overshadowed by offensive struggles that now remain the focus of what went wrong for Maryland’s offense. Thursday was a game Maryland put themselves in position to win, but couldn’t make the plays they needed.

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