Women’s Soccer Shutout By Michigan, remain Winless In Conference Play

Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

By Jackson Wantman

Another early deficit proved to be the downfall for the Terps on Sunday afternoon, as their winless and scoreless streak in Big Ten conference play continued.

After a frustrating 5-0 to Michigan State on September 28th, the Terps faced a similar challenge against No. 22 Michigan on Sunday.

Michigan struck early in the fifth minute when freshman Lilley Bosley’s shot deflected off Maryland goalkeeper Liz Beardley and onto the foot of sophomore midfielder Jenna Lang, who immediately took a shot into a mostly open net to secure her third goal of the season.

After going down within the first ten minutes against Michigan State, Maryland couldn’t achieve their goal of not putting themselves in a hole early.

The Wolverines continued to put more pressure on Liz Beardsley, taking three more shots on the Terps’ keeper who made impressive saves on both shots.

Maryland would not give in, though, moving the ball forward and trying to capitalize on offensive opportunities, including getting awarded the first corner of the game. 

Unfortunately, things only got worse for the Terps when Carole Koutsos fouled Michigan freshman Gabrielle Prych inside the box in the eighteenth minute, awarding the Wolverines a penalty. Senior forward Sammi Woods slotted her team-leading sixth goal of the season into the bottom left of the net to give Michigan a 2-0 lead. 

Despite being down early, Maryland did a nice job of getting takeaways and forcing Michigan to turn the ball over.

“I don’t think it was anything you know, too crazy..,” said head coach Meghan Ryan Nemzer, “I thought that the tactics were there.”

Maryland tried to string together some offensive possessions but were only able to get one shot on goal and were not able to really push through the Michigan backline, which held their own for much of the first half.

Maryland had a strong last five minutes of the half, earning their second corner of the game and getting a shot off. However, they were unable to capitalize and went into the locker room still down 2-0.

Michigan picked up right where they left off to start the second half, earning a corner off another breakaway. But Gabrielle Prych’s attempt to put the Wolverines up 3-0 was off target.

It was a physical game in Ann Arbor, with a whopping twenty-eight total fouls in the match. Multiple Maryland players got nicked up but the first injury blow came when junior midfielder Lauren Wrigley had to come off the field after suffering an ankle injury after getting fouled in the fiftieth minute. 

Luckily for the Terps, Wrigley subbed back into the game just a few minutes later and was able to continue playing.

Michigan struck yet again in the fifty-sixth minute, when Gabrielle Prych leaped over the Maryland defense off a corner from senior defender Sarah Bridenstine to head in her fifth goal of the season, adding to Michigan’s lead to make it a 3-0 game.

The scoring did not stop there for the Wolverines, as Sammi Woods bagged a brace in the sixty-first minute after converting on a pass from Abby Zugay off a Sarah Bridenstine free kick. It was the sixth free kick given up by Maryland up until that point and Michigan was able to take advantage. 

Despite the high amount of fouls in the match, the first yellow card was not given until the seventieth minute, when senior Caroline Koutsos was shown yellow after fouling Michigan’s Lilley Bosely on a breakaway.

The Terps were unable to get anything going offensively in the second half, with Michigan maintaining possession for the majority of the half and did not allow Maryland to get their offense set.

It was a different story for the Wolverines, who along with their two goals scored in the half, took many more shots on Liz Beardsley and kept putting pressure on Maryland’s defense.

“You gotta compete, that’s what we said at the end of the day, you know, [the] Big 10 is one of the hardest conferences in the country…I think the biggest thing is that we gotta go back to the basics, Nemzer said.”

With this loss, the Terps now fall to 3-5-5 on the season and 0-4-1 in Big Ten play. They will take on coach Nemzer’s former squad, Rutgers, this Saturday at Ludwig Field.