Terps women's soccer team kicks off Big Ten competition with a win

September 12, 2014|By Paul Pierre-Louis | The Baltimore Sun

COLLEGE PARK — There were cheerleaders on either side of the Maryland women's soccer team as it jogged onto Ludwig Field before its game Friday night. Capping the scene was a Big Ten banner that was displayed as the players made their entrance.

The Terrapins' hosted No. 25 Rutgers in the university's first Big Ten conference home game. With the men's soccer team playing its first conference game at Michigan earlier that evening, the women's team received the spotlight on the historic night.

"We come to the guys games and it's just this insane atmosphere and I'm like, 'God, that must be so cool,'" midfielder Maisie McCune said. "Tonight we experienced it."

When the final whistle blew, the Terps beat the Scarlet Knights, 2-0, for their first Big Ten victory.

The Terps played before an announced 1,409 spectators, which was more than their first two home games this season combined.

The pep band appeared at Ludwig Field for the first time, playing songs and barking chants that have become common at the university's football and basketball games.

"It was great to get the support that we got tonight," coach Jonathan Morgan said. "[The team] played off of that energy. It was just an awesome atmosphere here tonight."

The environment helped the Terps jump to a fast start. They scored their first conference goal in the 21st minute after Rutgers goalkeeper Casey Murphy misjudged a free kick from Terps defender Shannon Collins. Midfielder Maisie McCune knocked the ball into the open net.

The team continued pressuring the Scarlet Knights after the opening goal, as forward Natasha Ntone-Kouo scored on a Terps counterattack to give them a lead that they would not give up.

"We've had some crowds when we hosted some big ACC games, but it was just awesome to be able to host the first Big Ten game ever for our university," Collins said. "We were all just very excited [and] very pumped up.

ppierrelouis@baltsun.com

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