The Maryland women's soccer team struggled to score in the opening 45 minutes of its first six contests. Just two of the Terps' 11 goals came in the first half.
That issue dissipated in a 1-0 victory over William & Mary on Thursday.
In the third minute, forward Jarena Harmon slipped midfielder Madison Turner behind the defense and Turner knocked the ball past Tribe goalkeeper Grace Smith from a tight angle. The Terps held off the Tribe for the next 87 minutes, remaining unbeaten through seven games.
Prior to the contest at Ludwig, Maryland coach Ray Leone stressed the importance of increasing the speed of play and controlling possession. Contrary to the Terps' Sunday matchup with George Mason, when they were overwhelmed on the ball in the early stages, they controlled the ball before and after Turner's score.
"We did come out well," Leone said. "It was a wonderful goal and it gave us a little spark. We had good energy for the next 10 minutes or so and had a good rhythm."
Maryland (6-0-1) kept the ball in the vicinity of the William & Mary (4-3-0) goal for the majority of the first half. Left back Zoe Clark barely entered the Terps' defensive third, able to play high up the field to aid the attack.
The visitors mustered only one shot — a weak effort goalkeeper Rachel Egyed corralled easily — on goal in the period, while the Terps peppered Smith with five attempts on frame. They finished with 15 total shots, eight of which were on target. The Tribe only managed one more on target.
Defender Julia New thwarted several Tribe attacks as she and the defense preserved the shutout. Regardless of the slim lead, she felt the Terps were in control.
"That's just part of being a defender is knowing that you're the last line of defense," New said. "We just get our team together. As long as we're getting our team together, it doesn't matter if it's [a lead of] one goal or three. We win."
After playing in four straight overtime games, Turner said the squad was thankful the contest ended in regulation. The Terps rested a couple of regular starters.
Defender Jlon Flippens, who has the second-highest minutes played on the team, got the night off. Forward Chelsea Jackson, one of five players with over 400 minutes played entering the game and the team's leading scorer, rested for the entire second half.
"[Resting them] was very helpful," Leone said. "Even the best players in the world don't play sometimes. With as many games as we've had and the unusual four overtimes in a row, we had to make sure we did the same."
With the victory, the Terps finished nonconference play unbeaten. They kick off their Big Ten schedule on Sept. 17 at No. 14 Rutgers.
Maryland now has 10 days to regain fitness and prepare for the Scarlet Knights.
"We're really ready to focus on getting better in these next 10 days. Everybody is really focused and ready to improve on the things we need to work on," Turner said.