PHILADELPHIA - Given the fact the University of Pennsylvania women's soccer team was opening its season on Sunday evening while its opponent, the University of Maryland, was playing its fourth, a slow start by the Quakers might have been expected.
Sure enough, the Terps (2-1-1) -- a perennial national power playing out the Big Ten Conference -- stunned Penn with a pair of goals before Sunday's match was 12 minutes old. However, the Quakers more than did their part after that, finishing the game by outshooting Maryland 12-5 in what ended up as a 3-1 loss.
The score was still 2-0 at halftime, but with a little less than 21 minutes left Olivia Blaber made it 2-1 with Penn's first goal of the season. After a pair of shots failed to get to the goal -- in both cases cleared off the line by Maryland defenders -- the ball came to the senior in front of the goal. She calmly settled it to her left foot, then pounded a shot between two UM players and into the goal. Just like that, it was game on.
Maryland responded. Merely 1:42 after Penn's goal, the Terps regained their two-goal advantage when a free kick was headed home at the far post.
Penn outshot Maryland in the second half, 9-1, and held a 6-1 advantage in corner kicks. Several freshmen shone in their debuts including Abby Reed, Emily Sands, Emma Loving and goalkeeper Kitty Qu (who took over after the second goal).
Penn is off for a week, before hosting Robert Morris next Sunday afternoon.