Maryland women’s soccer will look to bounce back against No. 22 Michigan after suffering its worst loss of the season Tuesday to Michigan State, 5-0.
The match was quickly lost in the first half, as the Spartans scored three goals in the first 20 minutes — two of which came from headers on corner kicks. The Terps were outshot, 25-3, in the loss.
As its poor run of form continues, Maryland will look to record its first Big Ten win against Michigan. The Wolverines will be looking for revenge after Maryland upset them last year, 1-0, for its first conference win in over two years.
Sunday’s game will kick off at noon and stream on Big Ten Plus.
No. 22 Michigan (6-2-3, 2-1-1 Big Ten)
2022 record: (7-8-3, 2-6-2 Big Ten)
Head coach Jennifer Klein has led the Wolverines to some success in recent years. Two years ago, Michigan won its first Big Ten title this century and made it to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.
Last season was a down year, as the Wolverines finished with a sub-.500 record. But so far this season, Klein’s squad looks to be back in form and is deservedly ranked No. 22 nationally.
Players to watch
Sammi Woods, senior forward, No. 3 — Woods has been the go-to source on offense for the Wolverines this season. She has a team-high five goals to go along with one assist in 11 games.
Gabrielle Prych, freshman forward, No. 16 — Another major reason for Michigan’s early-season success is the emergence of Prych in big moments. She has the third-most game-winning goals (3) in the conference.
Stephanie Sparkowski, senior goalkeeper, No. 00 — Sparkowski has been one of the elite goalkeepers in the conference this year. She enters Sunday’s matchup with a .869 save percentage, the third-best mark in the Big Ten.
A tough defense. Michigan’s back line has made up for an at times lackluster offense. The Wolverines allow under a goal per game and have allowed just three goals in their last four games.
Good looks at goal. Michigan’s record is quite impressive considering its numbers on the offensive side of the ball. The Wolverines are last in the conference in shots per game (9.64) and have more goals than only Maryland with 13.
Three things to watch
1. Maryland’s goalless streak. Maryland has been held scoreless in each of its last three games, showing its incapability to compete with conference opponents. The Terps need to see the ball go into the net to help boost their confidence.
2. Who will start up front? Last game, Maryland’s attack struggled, failing to register a single shot in regulation. Head coach Meghan Ryan Nemzer hasn’t been afraid to make adjustments this season, so it’ll be interesting to see if she does the same Sunday.
3. Can the defense have a good first half? The Terps have only lost once after not giving up a first-half goal. After blowout losses at Penn State and Michigan State, Maryland could stand a chance if the defense doesn’t break down early.