Last week felt like the game Maryland could build off of and use to get some momentum, especially after equalizing in the final minutes. But a disappointing OT loss means the Terps are in a familiar spot. In need of a win to re-ignite their season. The good news was that this game was in front of The Crew at Ludwig. The bad news....it's against Big Ten leaders and 3rd ranked Penn State. Either way, Maryland needed a win.
Maryland started the first half in control of things and winning a corner after just six minutes. Soon after, Mael Corboz gave Maryland the lead and just the start they needed after finishing sweeping home from 8 yards out. It's what the Terps have been searching for and needed in many games so far this gear. An early goal to help draw out opposition defenses. Maryland kept up the pressure, with Tsubasa Endoh forcing a save from Andrew Wolverton a minute later. Maryland's build-up was noticeably better and their overall attack much more sharper. They created another chance at the 20 minute mark off a corner, with Alex Shinsky's header going wide.
Over the next 10 minutes Penn State appeared to work themselves back into the game, but Maryland finally showed the clinicalness we've been waiting for in attack, earning a penalty in the 31st minute, and Corboz kept up his strong record from the spot, getting his and Maryland's 2nd of the day to make it 2-0 Terps. The Nittany Lions did create some chances over the last quarter of an hour of the first half, with Steffen saving well off a corner, and Owen Griffith shooting high. Overall, it was one of the best halves Maryland has played all year and they had a deserved 2-0 lead.
Maryland showed no let up to start the 2nd Half, and eight minutes in Alex Shinsky bagged the Terps 3rd, finishing after Raley's terrific strike bounced off the crossbar. The 3rd finally seemed to wake the Nittany Lions up a bit, and they played with more attacking verve and quality than they had the whole game. Give Maryland credit for that. This Penn State attack is dangerous, and Maryland had done a great job all day keeping them quiet. PSU's attack started to get it working though, with Zack Steffen saving from Connor Maloney, and seeing his goal under pressure, with PSU earning many corners, forcing Steffen to make one superb save from Eli Dennis, sprawling to push the header over the bar.
The middle of the first half, from about the 55th-75th minute was also Penn State, with repeated forays down the wing, and giving Maryland trouble with crosses into the box. Zack Steffen was forced to make multiple saves and be strong coming off his line to claim ball.
Maryland effectively killed the game off the rest of the way, and even added a 4th, with Tsubasa Endoh adding to the Maryland rout. The game finished 4-0, a quite perfect performance from Maryland.
This was the game Maryland needed, and what we've been waiting for. They've put pieces of games together, had spells in games, but never a dominant full 90 minutes. They did thet and more, against the #3 team in the country.
The Terps jump to a tie for 3rd in the B1G on 7 points, and they're now 5-5-2 overall. They return at home on Wednesday vs Lehigh, and their next B1G game is Sunday vs Indiana.