Margot Lawn fired an insert to Ericka Morris-Adams at the top of the shooting circle. She settled the ball with her stick and allowed Sammy Popper to step up and drive the ball to the lower left corner.
Maryland hadn’t registered a single shot halfway through the first quarter. The Terps’ won a penalty corner after their first extended possession seven minutes into the match and found the opening goal via Popper to take an early lead.
No. 10 Maryland field hockey flew to Ann Arbor to face off against No. 16 Michigan and came out on top of its ranked conference rivals in a narrow 1-0 win Friday.
“Today we won the game on an attack penalty corner and we won the game on superb defensive penalty corners,” coach Missy Meharg said.
Popper scored the winning goal in Maryland’s last contest against American on Sunday, a 2-1 victory for the Terps. Her decisive finish on Friday was her fifth goal of the season.
Maryland (11-3, 3-1 Big Ten) claimed its third Big Ten win of the season and another narrow win over Michigan, who the Terps defeated by one goal for the third consecutive matchup, to improve to 22-5 in its all-time series against the Wolverines.
The Wolverines (6-7, 1-5 Big Ten) came out strong in the first quarter and received a penalty corner in the first 12 seconds of the match. Despite the early Maryland score, Michigan notched six shots in the first quarter, doubling up the Terps’ three attempts on goal.
The second quarter looked similar to the first with Michigan holding consistent possession. The Wolverines’ backline held a strong formation and switched the field often, knocking the ball around Maryland’s offense. The Terps were able to create a couple of small scoring opportunities, utilizing their three forwards to create quick give-and-go attacking plays.
“I think the way Michigan played their ball starts so, so fast, Maryland tried to do the same and our chess board wasn’t quite set up,” Meharg said. “We don’t always play like that, I’d like to think we’re a bit more sophisticated, that we can play fast when the situation lends to that.”
Freshman goalie Alyssa Klebasko started her fifth consecutive game on Friday. She continued to be an athletic force in the net, consistently laying out on the goal line and diving forward to deny the Wolverines and accumulate six saves in the first half.
Michigan outshot Maryland 15-6 in the first half and won five penalty corners to the Terps’ two. The Wolverines remained dominant through the second half and finished the game with 20 shots and nine penalty corners.
Klebasko faced a Michigan strike from the top of the shooting circle at the end of the third quarter. In one movement, she simultaneously lifted her arm and dove on her side to block the shot. Klebkaso finished with eight saves and played a large part in the Terps’ shutout.
“Super proud of our deep defense, our corner defense. I think they had nine or 10 penalty corners,” Meharg said. “I think Alyssa Klebasko probably had the game of her career here.”
Popper’s early goal and Maryland’s shutout contributed to another crucial Big Ten win for the Terps in Ann Arbor. Maryland will travel to No. 9 Ohio State for a 1 p.m. top-10 matchup against its conference opponent on Sunday in hopes of extending its winning streak to five games.