Maryland has played like two different teams dating back to last season. At home, the Terrapins have been terrific, winning 10 of their last 13 games. But outside of College Park has been a completely different story.
Last year, Maryland’s promising season was derailed due to poor play away from home. The Terps went 3-7 on the road during the regular season and ended the 2013 campaign with a disappointing five-goal loss at Virginia in the ACC Women’s Soccer Tournament. The travel schedule was loaded with quality opponents but the results left a lot to be desired.
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The Terrapins didn’t do themselves any favors by kicking off the 2014 season with a two-game trip to California to take on defending national champion UCLA and Pepperdine.
Maryland dropped both games.
Returning home was just what the doctor ordered for the Terrapins, as they corrected their course and defeated William & Mary, 4-0, and former conference foe NC State, 2-1.
But the Terps went back to their old tricks, dominating Navy on the road, only to result in a disappointing tie.
Maryland is currently in the midst of three games in a row at home, and already knocked off Rutgers in its first-ever Big Ten game. BR-23 Michigan lurks next, followed by a Michigan State team that is off to a 0-2 start within the conference. If the Terps are going to continue to fall flat on the road, these games become even more crucial. Michigan is coming off a last-second win over ninth-ranked Wisconsin, so the Terps should have their hands full in at least one of the contests.
Waiting for Maryland after the two Michigan schools is a two-game trip to the heartland, where they’ll visit Iowa and Nebraska in the program’s first-ever Big Ten road games. By no means is either team a pushover, but Maryland has to use these games to prove to themselves that they’re capable of taking care of business outside of Maryland.
Staring at a 3-2-1 record, despite the continued road woes, Maryland is talented enough that their season is still very much salvageable.
The final 12 games of the year are evenly split with six taking place at home and six on the road. As luck would have it, Maryland has two extremely tough road matches to close out the season at #9 Wisconsin and #7 Penn State.
The NCAA Tournament remains the goal for the Terrapins, but Maryland must start turning things around on the road before that dream can become a reality.