Kennedy Bell won possession of the ball in the midfield in the 69th minute. The freshman surged ahead of two defenders, cutting in toward the net to get a better angle as she entered the penalty box.
But Michigan goalkeeper Stephanie Sparkowski fended off Bell’s shot and deflected the ball off a defender for a Maryland corner kick. The freshman’s shot was one of few that threatened Michigan’s goal as the Terps’ scoring struggles in conference play continued.
Maryland (3-5-5, 0-4-1 Big Ten) women’s soccer was shut out and failed to win its fifth consecutive game as it fell to No. 22 Michigan on Sunday in Ann Arbor, 4-0. The Terps have given up 14 goals in Big Ten play and scored zero.
Coach Meghan Ryan Nemzer said her team needs to get “back to the basics” in this week’s training.
“I think we gotta go back to you know what makes us special as a team,” Nemzer said. “We gotta get back to competing.”
The Wolverines (7-2-3, 3-1-1 Big Ten) took the lead early on Sunday. Goalkeeper Liz Beardsley fended off a tight shot with her feet and deflected the ball out to the top of the penalty box. Jenna Lang hammered a left-footed strike past the goalkeeper and into the bottom right corner for a 1-0 advantage in the 5th minute.
Nemzer’s team’s best chance to equalize came in the 9th minute. Kelsey Smith took on a defender one-on-one on the left side of the pitch. She beat a defender and crossed the ball toward the penalty spot, where it found Lisa McIntyre. The freshman took a touch around a Wolverine to set up a perfect angle for a shot, but it was blocked.
Michigan looked for an opportunity to double its lead in the 18th minute. The Wolverines played a pass into the box and Katie Coyle, in an attempt to take the ball away, tripped a Michigan attacker and conceded a penalty kick.
Sammi Woods sent Beardsley the wrong way, and her low strike found the bottom left corner of the net to make it 2-0.
The Terps struggled to keep possession of the ball. Despite gaining possession often, they failed to connect when looking to play the ball up the field. Maryland’s through balls were played too far ahead of attackers and simple quick passes were off target, resulting in turnovers.
Maryland boosted its tempo nearing the final minutes of the first half. The Terps found themselves in the offensive half for the majority of the last five minutes but couldn’t capitalize, heading into the half down by two goals.
“I think we got to be better at keeping the ball as well,” Nemzer said. “I think that the reason why they’re getting some shots is because I think we’re giving the ball away when we have plenty of time.”
In the 54th minute, Michigan handed Maryland a quick opportunity to halve its deficit. Eva Mowrey received a gift off a Wolverine poor first touch. The sophomore inched closer to the net and beat a defender before another cleared the ball out for a Maryland throw in.
The Wolverines immediately punished the Terps for failing to capitalize. Gabrielle Prych headed a delivery from a corner kick past a jumping Maryland defender and into the back of the net for Michigan’s third tally of the afternoon in the 56th minute.
The Wolverines added their fourth goal of the match following a free kick. Abby Zugay headed the ball forward to Woods, who tapped her second goal of the game past Beardsley. The Terps failed to find a consolation goal and were shutout for their fifth consecutive game as they suffered their fourth loss in five Big Ten games.
Maryland faces Rutgers on Oct. 7 at Ludwig Field. Nemzer said she’s ready to get back and play soccer at home after two tough road matches in Michigan.
“We got two days off before we’re home and I’m excited to be back home,” Nemzer said. “We gotta have better, decisive movements and I know that we’re still working on relationships and everything like that but we got to be a little more clear on that piece of it”