Soccer Drops First Match of Season

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Merel Van Dongen scored her first collegiate Thursday night against Maryland.
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
Merel Van Dongen scored her first collegiate Thursday night against Maryland.
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Maryland scored a late goal to stun the Alabama soccer team, 2-1, in front of a school record crowd of 1,630 fans at the Alabama Soccer Stadium on Thursday night. With the loss, Alabama falls to 5-1-0 on the year, while Maryland improves to 4-1-1.

The Terrapins' Becky Kaplan scored her second goal of the game at the 88:47 mark of the second half, turning on two Alabama defenders and placing the ball in the far post, to stun the crowd and give Maryland the road win.

"It was a good game by both teams in front of a great crowd," Alabama head coach Todd Bramble said. "It's a tough loss, but it will prepare us for conference play."

The game was a back-and-forth affair, with Maryland jumping out early to silence the large crowd. Just three minutes into the match, Maryland broke on a counter attack, where Haley Brock was able to play a through ball to Kaplan, who chipped junior Shelby Church to put Maryland in front 1-0.

Alabama responded just 23 seconds later, as freshman Merel Van Dongen was able to put her head on a Meghan Duffy free kick to even the score at one apiece. It was Van Dongen's first career goal and Duffy's third assist of the year.

Alabama will have the weekend off as it prepares for Southeastern Conference play to begin next week. Alabama will travel to play Tennessee and LSU, starting on Friday in Knoxville.