By Jake Pavorsky (@PavorskyUMD)
After a dominating 2-0 win over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights last week, the Maryland Terrapins (3-3-1) were hoping to harness the momentum into their contest with the Michigan Wolverines (7-2-0) but were unsuccessful and suffered a 1-0 loss. It was the first ever contest between the two universities, but Michigan seemed to have the Terps read well. Despite Maryland outscoring opponents 8-1, the away team dominated nearly all 90 minutes of play.
Michigan, led by attacking midfielder Ani Sarkisian and defender Ana Soccorsi, utilized their speed and counter-attacking prowess to give the Terrapins defenders all sorts of fits. They made an effort to get the ball out wide and try and draw set pieces, something the Wolverines were extremely successful in doing so. They had six corner kicks to just one for Maryland. Forwards Gabby Galanti and Natasha Ntone-Kouo provided some fresh legs off the bench and a few chances for the Terrapins, but the Wolverines truly set the pace for the contest.
After a slow start against Rutgers last week as well, head coach Jonathan Morgan realizes they need to get out on the front foot early.
“We kind of like to feel teams out, and get a sense of how good they are before we figure out how we want to play. Today was probably no different,” Morgan said. “We’ve got to change our mindset. We’ve got to believe in ourselves, and know that we’re a good team, and that we can take the action to them.”
Maryland attempted to push the pace in the second half with strong midfield play. One of the Terps best opportunities came from junior Riley Barger as she sent a through ball in towards Galanti, but the play was eventually called offsides. However, despite an impressive performance from Terrapins goalkeeper Rachelle Beanlands, Michigan kept knocking until they beat down the door. After peppering the net with shots that rang off the crossbar and right post, the Wolverines jumped out to a 1-0 advantage after midfielder Madisson Lewis finished a great cross from Sarkisian. Maryland had a good opportunity on an 89th minute header from Erika Nelson off a corner kick, but it was to no avail.
It was Maryland’s first loss at home this year, and Michigan’s first road win in their 2014 campaign. Morgan gave a ton of credit to Wolverines head coach Greg Ryan for causing issues for his team.
“Credit to Greg Ryan and Michigan for putting together a great game plan,” Morgan said. “It caused a lot of fits for us in the first half, we just couldn’t solve them.”
Morgan also cited Michigan’s ability to dominate in front of the net offensively as another reason for the loss.
“It’s about the penalty area, and winning that as well as between the [18 yard box]. This team did a better job in the penalty area than we did,” Morgan said.
The Terrapins have a chance to clear their conscience of this loss quickly, as they take on the Michigan State Spartans from Ludwig Field Sunday at 1:00 p.m.