Photo by Pat Radigan
38′ – NU – Pujado (1)
47′ – NU – Hanson (6)
62′ – NU – Hanson (7)
Story by Pat Radigan
Nebraska denied early before breaking through for convincing win
Nebraska powered past early missed opportunities and posted its seventh 3-0 win of the 13-game season by beating Maryland on Thursday night in Lincoln.
Senior Haley Hanson had a penalty kick saved, but scored her sixth and seventh goals of the year to make up for it and lead a scrappy night for the Husker offense. Freshman Theresa Pujado opened the scoring after converting a rebound in traffic, and Hanson used Nebraska’s “numbers in the box” to find space for two second half scores as the icing on the Husker win.
It took 6 shots, a blocked penalty kick and 37:11 off the clock for Nebraska to get it’s breakthrough. But it was worth the wait when Pujado hammered in a rebound for her first collegiate goal. The play started with a cross by Pujado, who curled a ball into the far post for Michaela Loebel. Loebel headed the ball back into the box, where Alexis Rienks tried to get a foot on it, but her attempt was deflected back across the goal.
That left the ball at the feet of Pujado, again, who made the most of the opportunity by smashing a shot between a defender and the goalkeeper and in at the near post. Pujado came on as a sub immediately following the penalty kick, and scored almost exactly 10 minutes after entering the game.
Hanson atoned for that missed penalty kick with a pair of second half goals, which allowed the Huskers to put the game out of reach.
It took just 61 seconds of the second half for Nebraska to double its lead. Amanda McClanahan juked a defender to find space for a cross, with the ball sneaking past a couple of defenders to find Hanson, who was waiting at the far post to tap in her sixth goal of the year.
The second strike for Hanson came with more style points, when the senior converted a diving header in the 62nd minute. It started when Maryland tried to clear a corner kick, but it only went as far as Caroline Buelt.
Buelt took a touch from about 15 yards outside of the box, and sent a looping cross toward Hanson at the far post. Hanson timed her run, got a firm footing and launched herself toward the ball to get as much power as she could on the attempt. The ball squirted along the wet grass, just out of the reach of the Maryland keeper, and snuck inside the near post to give Hanson a brace in 15:01 of game action.
With Maryland struggling to find an offensive rhythm, the highlight of the night for Husker goalkeeper Aubrei Corder was being substituted for the first time in her two years at Nebraska. Senior Lauren Smith made her first competitive appearance for the Huskers when she came in for the final five minutes, and combined with Corder to help NU post its seventh shutout of the year.
Next for Nebraska is a home game against No. 23 Rutgers on Sunday. The Huskers are still receiving votes in the United Soccer Coaches poll, and will be looking to vault back into the rankings at the expense of the Scarlet Knights in a game set for 3 p.m. at Hibner Stadium.