Just when it looked like the game was going towards a shootout, junior Michigan forward Emma Way snuck a shot past Maryland goalie Sarah Holliday when the clock read 99:59 to beat the Terps, 3-2 in double overtime.
Despite going down 2-0 in the first half, Maryland was able to bring the score level against No. 5 Michigan about halfway through the second half, only to have their momentum taken away 30 minutes after the end of regulation.
Michigan did its best to bring the team’s firepower to Maryland in full force from the opening whistle. The Wolverines were able to get on the scoreboard first a little more than one minute into the game when forward Carly Bennett was able to fire in her first goal of the season to go up 1-0.
When Michigan freshman Halle O’Neill scored off a penalty corner to double the Wolverines’ lead, it seemed like the Terps were in for a long night. But Maryland would not give in. Even with the tide turning against them, junior forward Melissa Wilken gave the Terps their first scoring opportunity when she weaved her way through Michigan’s backline to a one-on-one opportunity that was ultimately saved.
Though the push did not result in any points, it appeared to rejuvenate a Maryland side that looked more ready to prevent goals than score them. At the 25-minute mark, senior midfielder Lein Holsboer decided to try a solo run of her own. After making her way through three defenders, she fired a low shot to the right of Wolverine goalie Sam Swenson to cut the Maryland deficit to 2-1.
At the start of the second half, it looked like Michigan wanted to put the game away early. The team came out with the same intensity that gave them their early lead before. This time, however, Maryland was ready and defended every Wolverines push. By the time Terps coach Missy Meharg called for timeout 20 minutes into the period, Michigan was outshooting Maryland 5-1.
Whatever Meharg said in her timeout speech worked wonders. When the Terps broke their huddle, Michigan faced a stiffer Maryland defense that allowed much less leeway on one side of the field, and forced more counter attacks on the other.
The counters caused enough Wolverine confusion to even force a Michigan player to earn a five-minute yellow card penalty. The Terps were able to make the most out of this one-player advantage, as Melissa Wilken scored her first goal on the season with a chip over the head of Swenson to tie it up, 2-2.
The remaining 10 minutes of regulation seemed to be anyone’s game, with both offenses getting their shots and penalty corners in where they could. Michigan perhaps had the best chance at the 69-minute mark when it was awarded a penalty corner with a one-player advantage thanks to a Sophie Giezemann yellow card. However, the Terps held strong and were able to prevent another Michigan goal to take the 2-2 score to the end of regulation.
Overtime in Ann Arbor seemed like its own separate game from the one that was played just minutes beforehand. Possession resembled a ping-pong match where each team would try to push its way to a goal, shoot it out of bounds, and get back for the next attempt. The closest opportunity for either team came early, when Wilken had another one-on-one opportunity with Swenson, but chose to dump it off to freshman midfielder Brooke DeBerdine, who shot the ball wide.
The second half of OT seemed to favor Michigan. While Maryland switched to a more conservative approach that incorporated more back passes, Michigan found their counter-attacking drive that was more present during regulation. Eventually, the Terps were able to put a momentary stop to the Wolverines and make it seem like they were headed to a shootout against the Wolverines.
Emma Way had different ideas. On the team’s final push, Way was able to take advantage of Sarah Holliday rushing off her line and sink her shot into an empty net to break the hearts of the Terps with less than a second left to spare.
The Terps will remain in Michigan for their next game, but will travel to East Lansing to for their next game at Michigan State on Oct. 6.
Three things to know
- It’s amazing what some rest can do. The Terps look sharp today against one of the best teams they will face this season. During regulation, the runs were made in full, the passes were crisper, and it seemed like everyone was on the same page, even when it seemed like that page was “stop another Michigan score.” If a full four days of rest helps Maryland this much against a top-10 opponent, imagine how great it’ll be against unranked Michigan State.
- Maryland played the game their way. I suggested earlier this week that Maryland’s best chance to beat Michigan would come from a slower playing style. Meharg didn’t listen to me; the Terps played this game with the usual high-pressure, fast-paced style that they have stuck to all season, and even if it didn’t garner them a win, it pushed them right to the brink of one.
- Let’s acknowledge the Terps’ discipline. It’s easy to get into the habit of retaliating against your opponent when you’re fouled as many times as Maryland was this evening, but they didn’t. The team kept a relatively cool head and prevented their emotions from getting the better of them against a team that did a lot of stick-chopping.