Nov. 12, 2010

Courtesy of Maryland

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Megan Gibbons and Sade Ayinde each had three points to lead the No. 1 seed University of Maryland women's soccer team to a 4-1 victory over High Point in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Friday night at Ludwig Field.

The victory gives the Terps an overall record of 18-2-2, while the Panthers finish their season with an 11-11-1 mark.

"First thing, I want to take my hat off to High Point, as they made it difficult for us, especially by getting an early goal," said Maryland head coach Brian Penaky. "But I'm proud of our quick response and our commitment to plugging away. Sade's free kick was special, and it forced High Point to come out and play a bit more, which allowed us to open the scoring up and put the game away."

The Panthers got on the board first in the eighth minute. A blown clear in the Maryland defensive third gave High Point a 1v1 opportunity and freshman Kelli Joline capitalized, finishing from 15 yards.

But that lead didn't hold for long. Junior All-America candidate Jasmyne Spencer got the Terps even again just 21 seconds later. Spencer crossed the ball into sophomore Danielle Hubka, whose shot was blocked in front of the High Point net. Spencer followed the play, collected the loose ball and finished it into the upper left side of the Panther goal.

The game remained 1-1, largely due to High Point packing its defensive zone to limit quality chances for the Terps, until the 71st minute. Once again it was Spencer initiating the Maryland attack. She was fouled at the top of the High Point "D" giving the Terps a free kick from the center of the field. Ayinde stepped up to the ball and ripped a shot past the Panther wall into the upper right 90 for the 2-1 Maryland lead.

High Point tried to push forward to possibly get the game-tying goal, but that opened the Panthers up to a counter-attack and that's exactly how the Terps broke the game open over the final 10 minutes.

Ayinde started the third Maryland goal, sending a ball from the left corner to junior Ashley Grove at the top of the 18-yard box. Grove moved the ball on with a simple touch to Gibbons, who made a good run down the right flank. With time and room Gibbons stuck a great ball into the left side of the goal to finish her first career goal in the 81st minute.

The fourth goal came in the 85th minute and was nearly identical to Gibbons' goal. This time it was sophomore Olivia Wagner sending the ball to Gibbons, who moved it along to senior Erika Theisen on the right side. High Point keeper Andrea Ritchie, who made five saves in the match, moved into position to make the save and got a piece of Theisen's shot, but the ball bounced off of her hands and took another big bounce into the right side of the goal, making it a 4-1 game.

Maryland advances to the second round of the NCAA tournament and will face the winner of the Georgetown-Siena game on Sunday, Nov. 14 at 1 p.m. at Ludwig Field.