Senior defender Marissa Borschke rose high at the back post in the 34th minute to score IU’s only goal against Maryland on Sunday afternoon.
The goal not only provided IU with a 1-0 victory that lifted them to eighth in the Big Ten standings, but it also gave the team consecutive victories in conference play for the first time since October 2014.
“We grinded it out today and did what we needed to do,” IU Coach Amy Berbary said. “Maryland plays an interesting style with some great attacking players. We knew we needed to shut down their attackers and take the chances we were given.”
IU put together a complete performance in its most important weekend of the season to date.
IU defeated Ohio State 3-2 on Thursday night thanks largely to contributions from its younger players.
Three different freshmen scored IU’s three goals. Sunday’s performance by IU, 7-7-3 and 4-3-2 in conference, contrasted with the Thursday night victory, because the veteran Borschke provided the only offense IU needed to defeat Maryland, 3-13-1 and 1-8 in conference.
The result also puts the Hoosiers in a position to qualify for the Big Ten Women’s Soccer Tournament. IU has earned 14 points from its nine conference matches.
IU began Sunday’s match on the offensive by testing Maryland sophomore goalkeeper Rachel Egyed early.
Egyed made three saves in the first half to deny sophomore forwards Maya Piper and Abby Allen and freshman forward Macy Miller.
“Our game plan was to come in and own the first 20 minutes of the match, and I thought we did that well,” Berbary said. “We just need to be more consistent throughout the entire match.”
Though IU freshman goalkeeper Sarah L’Hommedieu was the less active of the two goalkeepers in the game, she was still called upon to maintain a clean sheet.
Freshman midfielder Jlon Flippens had Maryland’s best chance to score in the first half, but L’Hommedieu made a diving save to stop the 18-yard strike.
IU entered halftime with the lead thanks to Borschke’s header, which came off freshman defender Meghan Scott’s team-leading fifth assist of the year and was Borschke’s second goal of the season.
“Megan served in an awesome ball, and I honestly just tried to keep it on frame,” Borschke said. “I headed it down into the ground, and it popped off the goalkeeper and in.”
The majority of Maryland’s scoring opportunities in the second half arrived within the first 10 minutes of the restart.
The Terrapins enjoyed a stretch of three corner kicks in between the 51st and 55th minutes, but each set piece was cleared by L’Hommedieu and the Hoosier defense.
Senior midfielder Veronica Ellis and freshman defender Julia Gilliam had chances to double the IU lead late in the second half, although neither was able to take advantage.
Maryland spent the final minutes of the match trying to find a way past the IU backline, but Borschke and company held firm to secure the win.
“It was huge to be able to come out of the weekend with six points. It sets us up well,” Borschke said. “We just tried to grind it out today. It took a team effort and team fight.”
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