Women's Soccer Drops Opener to Maryland, 3-1


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 ReedEmily SandsEmma 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.