Midfielder Natalie Winters took Iowa’s first corner kick in the third minute of the Maryland women’s soccer team’s 2-0 loss to the Hawkeyes on Friday afternoon. Thirty-four seconds later, she took another.

Iowa’s third consecutive corner look came 28 seconds later. But for the first time in three games, the Terps didn’t budge.

After Maryland’s 3-0 loss to Penn State on Oct. 9, when the Nittany Lions scored all of their goals on corner attempts, defender Hope Gouterman said the Terps needed to adjust their mentality against the set plays. Then in Maryland’s two subsequent contests — one-goal losses to Purdue and Indiana — the scores again came on corners.

Though Maryland’s defense allowed a goal in the run of play for the first time since Oct. 6, Iowa didn’t capitalize on its corner opportunities. Goalkeeper Rachel Egyed noticed the change in Maryland’s defense.

“Everyone got in there, got organized and then got set,” Egyed said. “Everybody has the mentality that ‘It’s my ball, and I’m going to go for it instead of letting it go over my head and let somebody else get it.’ It’s been a big mental thing.”

As the Terps prepared to face Iowa for their final home game of the season, coach Ray Leone emphasized corner defense, though it wasn’t a focus just because of Maryland’s skid.

The Hawkeyes, who entered Friday with two goals against Big Ten teams, “play for corners,” Leone said. Plus, since Maryland’s loss to Penn State, Leone has altered his lineup. Freshman defender Niven Hegeman, who has started Maryland’s last three contests, and midfielder Jenna Surdick, who has started the last two, have received more playing time.

“[The Hawkeyes] were successful getting them, and they had great service,” Leone said. “We did a really good job defending it. People were committing to get the ball out and not letting it bounce. We’ve done all kinds of different things, but it doesn’t matter how you set it up, just go get it. They went and got it today.”

Though the Terps kept Iowa from converting its 12 corners, Leone said the Terps might have devoted “a little too much practice” time on corner defense. After all, Maryland’s offense hasn’t scored in 461 minutes, the program’s longest scoring drought since the Terps dropped eight straight in 2006.

Still, the Terps won’t overlook their success limiting Iowa’s scoring chances beyond the run of play.

“The last couple of games, we’ve given up very few corner kicks, but they just happened to score on them,” midfielder Darby Moore said. “It flipped today. It was just a change of us saying ‘We’re not letting another corner kick into our goal again.'”

Despite Friday’s outcome, Egyed is impressed with Maryland’s ability to adjust. It gives the Terps confidence entering their season finale against Minnesota.

“When you ask people to improve on things and they do, it’s rewarding to know that they respect you enough to listen to what you have to say,” Egyed said. “Whatever it is we were telling them to do, they fixed it and were like ‘What’s next? Now what can we work on? We have that down, so let’s see what else we could do.'”