As Michigan defender Janiece Joyner worked on the right wing, Maryland women’s soccer midfielder Anissa Mose positioned herself in front, stymying Joyner’s attempt to swing the ball into the box and forcing a corner kick.
But while the Wolverines crowded in the box for the ensuing set piece, Mose remained on the ground. She would limp off with the help of a trainer, forcing coach Ray Leone to fill the void with freshman Olivia Hicks.
Just two minutes later, Michigan would pounce on the inexperience.
A long ball in the 36th minute found its way past Hicks, leaving midfielder Meredith Haakenson free on the right wing. The sophomore’s shot to the far post was saved by goalkeeper Erin Seppi, but the rebound leaked out to an unmarked Danielle Wolfe, who slotted home.
The No. 20 Wolverines would continue to find space on the wing, taking down Maryland, 3-0, in the Big Ten quarterfinals Sunday and cutting short the Terps’ first Big Ten tournament appearance in program history.
Michigan picked right up from its 4-1 drubbing of Maryland on Oct. 27 to close the regular season, testing Seppi regularly. While she had no trouble dealing with a bevy of early shots — many of which never left the ground — the Wolverines continued to probe.
A cross from Haakenson in the 17th minute found its way through the Maryland backline to Joyner, whose shot merely trickled into Seppi’s waiting arms.
By that point, the Terps had held firm, conceding just three shots. Weak chances soon gave way to threatening buildups, though, and the ball continually remained in Maryland’s half.
And in the 36th minute, the Terps’ efforts to keep a high-powered Michigan attack off the board faltered after Mose’s injury.
Haakenson — who led her team with eight goals this season entering the day — ran down the right sideline and sent an initial shot in, with Wolfe cleaning it up to open the scoring.
Haakenson and midfielder Nicki Hernandez peppered Seppi with shots throughout the first half, combining for six of Michigan’s 12 attempts at goal.
While the Terps managed to generate a handful of set-piece opportunities in Michigan’s half in the first 45 minutes, they often sailed past their intended targets.
The left side of Maryland’s defense came up short again in the 55th minute, and Haakenson found herself one-on-one with Seppi. She finished the chance with ease, doubling her team’s edge.
Forward Emma Cooper furthered the convincing margin in the 85th minute, putting a through ball past Seppi with the outside of her foot.
Despite Seppi’s best efforts at keeping the game within reach — finishing with 10 saves — Michigan’s overpowering offense and shutdown defense proved too much to handle on Sunday.