Women’s Soccer Trounced By Michigan State, 5-0

Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

By Jackson Wantman

A 5-0 offensive clinic put on by Michigan State helped Maryland’s winless Big Ten streak this season continue.

The Terps hoped to regain their footing against Michigan State on Thursday night, following a difficult 1-0 loss to Ohio State the previous Sunday. 

The Spartans earned two corners within the first three minutes of the game and tried to create chances out of it, but the Maryland defense stood its ground.

Maryland struggled with possession in the first 10 of action, unable to force turnovers from Michigan State. The ball did not even cross the halfway line until the eighth minute.

Then, Michigan State struck early in the tenth minute, when senior Gabby Mueller was left unmarked in the box by the Terps’ defense, and converted off a pass from Justina Gaynor, giving the Spartans a 1-0 lead, a problem that also hurt Maryland not long after.

“We spent a lot [of time] at halftime and after the game about playing more as a group instead of us and making things one vs. one battles…” said junior defender Katie Coyle, “I think if the backline is able to play as one unit of four instead of four individuals that’s going to help us not allow that to happen.”

Michigan State kept the pressure on Maryland after their opening goal, continuing to prevent the Terps from possessing the ball and getting awarded three more corners.

The Spartans nearly made it 2-0 on a breakaway in the sixteenth minute, when junior forward Jordan Wickes slipped through the Maryland backline and got a breakaway shot on Liz Beardlsey. But the junior goalkeeper stood her ground as she has done all year, making a sensational diving save.

However, Wickes converted on the corner from her previous shot, heading the cross from Regan Dalton into the top right of the net, doubling Michigan State’s lead and putting Maryland in a deep hole early.

It took the Spartans less than five minutes to add another goal to their tally. Michigan State converted on another strong offensive possession when Zivana Labovic finished a shot in the top center of the goal. Dalton Regan added her second assist in five minutes as well, essentially cementing the game in the first twenty minutes.

It was just as difficult of a first half offensively for Maryland as well. The Terps struggled to put together consistent offensive possessions during the few moments they had the ball, and they did not get a shot off until the thirty-second minute when Kennedy Bell’s shot was saved by Spartan keeper Kaitlyn Parks.

The start of the second half was much of the same, minus the goals. Michigan State controlled the tempo of the game and kept the ball in Maryland’s offensive third, as the Terps struggled to keep up with the Spartans’ fast-paced offense. 

“We got to be better with the start…” said head coach Meghan Ryan Nemzer on wanting her team to set the tone early, “We got to have a little bit more of a swing first mentality right now.”

Maryland got its first big chance in the fifty-eighth minute when Kennedy Bell fired a shot on a breakaway which deflected off the crossbar.

Maryland had another chance in the sixty-third minute, when freshman Hannah Schapiro’s header from a cross went just over the net, in what was just the Terps’ second shot of the game up until that point.

Maryland earned a corner in the sixty-ninth minute, but couldn’t capitalize on that opportunity, and were not able to get much else going for the bulk of the second half.

Michigan State piled on yet another goal when senior forward MJ Andrus sent her shot inside the box into the bottom left corner of the goal after her previous two shots were deflected off Maryland defenders. 

The Spartans put the exclamation point on the game when senior Ranya Senhaji tapped one in the back of the net to make the score a whopping 5-0, taking the life out of Maryland’s defense, which was their strong point coming into the match.

The Terps were unable to put another shot on Kaitlyn Parks for the rest of the game, as they remain scoreless in Big Ten play thus far.

Maryland falls to 3-4-5 on the season and 0-3-1 in Big Ten play. They will look to improve this Sunday as they head on a quick road trip to Ann Arbor to face Michigan at 12pm EST.