For the first 22 minutes of the second half against Minnesota, Maryland women's soccer looked like the better team. They had more possession and took the only two shots in that span.
However, an early 2-0 deficit was too much for the Terps to overcome, and a 67th-minute goal on a counter-attack iced the contest for the Gophers, who won, 3-1, on Sunday at Ludwig Field.
"We definitely had the momentum at the start of the second half," senior Madison Turner said. "We were putting them under a lot of pressure and they just caught us sleeping on that one play."
In the seventh minute, Minnesota (7-2-3) scored the earliest goal the Terps have allowed this season. Four minutes later, the Gophers doubled their tally, giving Maryland (7-3-2) its third 2-0 deficit in as many games.
However, much like Friday's contest against No. 12 Wisconsin, in which the Terps earned a 2-2 draw, coach Ray Leone's squad responded.
"It was very similar to the Wisconsin game because we went 2-0 down in both," midfielder Darby Moore said. "But we just keep fighting."
Turner, a midfielder who has played forward in place of injured leading scorers Chelsea Jackson and Mikayla Dayes, started at center back. Using her attacking experience, she dribbled from near the center circle past two Minnesota defenders and rifled a 13th-minute goal to the near post from about 20 yards away.
She said playing from the back made it easier to drift by opposing players, and her vision from the last line of defense opened up the opportunity to foray into the attacking zone.
"Nobody is really expecting you to go forward as much so it's a little bit easier to beat people on the dribble than when you have defenders on your back," Turner said. "I kind of tried to take advantage of that and get a shot off from farther out."
Turner's finish marked the first time the Terps scored in the opening 45 minutes since Sept. 7.
After dominating the opening stages of the second period, the Terps allowed a long ball over the top from Minnesota midfielder Megan Koenig. Gophers forward April Bockin collected the ball at the corner of the penalty area, cut onto her left foot and curled an effort past the outstretched hand of goalkeeper Rachel Egyed.
"We were getting ready to say, 'All right, we're going for broke right now,' and they got the goal before we went for broke," Leone said. "Then we went for broke to try and get to two [goals] but it was too late."
The Terps have now lost two of their past three games. Their attack has struggled without Jackson and Dayes. Leone said the Terps' final ball and timed runs are points of emphasis moving forward.
On the other side, Turner said the defense has to work out kinks with organization and communication, something that hurt the Terps on Minnesota's third goal.
Still, Leone said Maryland showed improvement by battling back from the early two-goal deficit.
"Their faces, their body language, their fight and their belief — it's getting stronger," Leone said. "Even if the score just stopped right there at 2-1, it was like, 'Man, we're getting better.'"
CORRECTION: Due to an editing error, a previous version of this story stated Maryland faced Minnesota on Saturday. The game occurred Sunday. This story has been updated.