The striking vista at the Naval Academy’s Glenn Warner Soccer Facility
The Maryland Women don’t actually have a home game until next month, so if I was going to see them, I needed to hit the road. Fortunately, the road wasn’t all that far: a half-hour drive to Annapolis, MD, then a shuttle bus ride to the Glenn Warner Soccer Facility, a pitch beautifully situated on the shores of the Severn River.
Unsurprisingly, Maryland would win, 3-0, on the strength of two goals from senior forward Becky Kaplan. That being said, the first half was not pretty soccer on either side. Turnovers and off-target passes abounded, with some of Navy’s best chances coming when Terrapin defenders’ attempted clearances went right to the feet of Middie forwards.
The Terps would get on the scoreboard in the 15th minute when freshman Shannon Collins made a nice overlapping run down the left flank and was fed by junior Kristen Schmidbauer (lately of the DC United Women). Collins turned the corner at the end line and made a low cross that came to an unmarked Kaplan five yards out from the right post. With Navy goalkeeper Elizabeth Hoerner obliged to guard the other post, Kaplan had an easy putaway.
Navy’s best chance of the game came in the 27th minute as one of their players was fouled just barely outside the box. Rachel Hunter took the kick and bent it around the right corner of the wall, but goalkeeper Rachelle Beanlands, a redshirt freshman, dove to her left in time to knock it aside.
Throughout the match there were signs of lightning across the river, and in the 42nd minute it got too close for comfort. The game was suspended. The first attempt at resumption came nearly an hour later, but lightning re-emerged, and the game was held up once again. The total delay ended up being an hour and forty-six minutes, and the game didn’t end until after 11:30 pm.
But I must confess that, having looked at the radar, I bailed out when the match was first halted and missed the second half. I’m reliably informed by a fellow member of the Maryland Women’s Soccer Journalists Association that Maryland’s play was much improved after the delay, and they had the goals to prove it.
The next goal brought contributions from the other two local club teams, as in the 58th minute Maryland Capitols player Bailey Bodell sent a ball to Chesapeake Charge player Riley Barger. Freshman Barger showed why she’s one of the Terrapins’ most promising recruits as she took a superb touch and turn to make some space for herself before sending a well-placed through ball to Kaplan. Behind the defense, Kaplan got around goalkeeper Hoerner and sent the ball into the open net.
The final score came in the 78th minute as freshman Aubrey Baker took a corner kick for Maryland, got the ball back, sent it back in to fellow freshman Sarah Molina, who sent it into the goalkeeper box where junior Alex Reed one-touched it into the net.
Maryland continues on the road this Sunday at Villanova, next weekend at Ohio State, and the following Friday at George Mason before their home opener on September 2 against Towson.
Thanks to Jennifer Gordon for her contributions to this report. Be sure to check out her profile of Riley Barger at The Equalizer.