Maryland women’s soccer still winless after lopsided loss to Michigan

(Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics.)

Maryland (0-5-2 B1G) lost 4-0 to Michigan (4-1-2 B1G) on Thursday at Ludwig Field. 

A brace from freshman Sammi Woods along with goals from sophomore Lily Farkas and Canadian international Sarah Stratigakas downed the Terps.

Michigan took an early lead in the 10th minute, when Stratigakis’s shot from outside of the box found the top left corner. Despite conceding first once again, Maryland head coach Ray Leone was more focused on Maryland’s response than the goal.

“It’s an unfortunate bounce, we cleared it and then a great player gets it right at her feet, it’s just unlucky,” Leone said. “It really didn’t affect us, we kept playing, and I’m proud of that response.”

Michigan continued to dominate early in the first half, notching nine shots and five shots on target. However, Maryland did grow into the game late in the half, with its best chance coming in the final seconds. 

After a one-two between junior midfielder Madison Oracion and redshirt forward Alyssa Poarch, Oracion found herself free inside the box, however, her shot from fifteen yards out could only find the goalkeeper and the Terps trailed 1-0 at the half.

Maryland had its best chance of the match in the 70th minute, when Alyssa Poarch got in behind the Michigan defense after getting on the end of senior midfielder Sydney Staier’s through ball. However, Poarch sent her shot over the goal.

Michigan was given a controversial penalty in the 75th minute. The referee pointed to the spot after slight contact between Maryland’s freshman midfielder Olivia Reese and Michigan’s senior midfielder Nicki Hernandez, despite Michigan’s cross going well over both player’s heads. 

Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Kennedy Tolson saved Hernadez’s initial penalty, but freshman forward Sammi Woods followed up and put the rebound into the back of the net to double the Wolverines’ lead. Leone was booked after Michigan’s goal for dissent, and he made it clear that he did not feel it was a penalty kick.

“In my opinion it was not a penalty kick,” Leone said. “[The cross] was over her head, there was nothing there.” 

In the 80th minute, Michigan scored once again extending its lead to 3-0. The Wolverines gained possession after a Maryland goal kick, and sophomore forward Lily Farkas got in behind the Terps’ defense to extend Michigan’s lead to three.

Sammi Woods grabbed her second goal of the game with a strike from about ten yards out in the 85th minute, giving the Wolverines their third goal in ten minutes. 

The game ended 4-0 to Michigan, giving Michigan its seventh straight win over Maryland. Despite the wide margin, Leone felt the game was closer than the score indicated. 

“I’m really heartbroken for the team because they really laid their full effort out there,” Leone said. “We were in it, even when [Michigan’s lead] was one we were in it, we played so well. It was just hard to overcome. I think they still fought, and we still had a couple chances, even when it was 2-0 there were still some chances but that third one was a total backbreaker.”

With just one home game left on Sunday, the Terps are focused on improving moving forward and picking up a win in the home finale.

“Michigan is a good team, they’ve always been a good team,” Staier said. “In the first half we matched them.. and like coach Ray said deep into the second half we did too. I think knowing that we can play with them and knowing that we can match a high level team like that, that makes me optimistic. Moving forward to Sunday we are hungry for a win, so I think it’s all gas, no breaks on Sunday, we’re excited.”

Maryland will play its final home game of the season on Sunday against Iowa at 2 p.m., before ending its regular season with three road contests.