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Championship Sunday for B1G men's soccer. Previewing Maryland - Indiana

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The Maryland Terrapins and Indiana Hoosiers meet Sunday afternoon with the winner claiming the title of Big Ten Men's Soccer Tournament Champions. This is the first tournament final for the Terps. The Hoosiers are looking for their second straight.

Kai Buck Dambach

The Basics:

WHO: Indiana Hoosiers (12-3-5) @ Maryland Terrapins (12-5-3)

WHAT: B1G Men's Soccer Tournament Championship game

WHERE: Ludwig Field, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland

WHEN: Sunday, November 16, 2014 at 12:30 pm Eastern

WATCH: In person or BTN

STREAM: BTN2GO.COM

A look back

Before we revisit Maryland's regular season contest with Indiana, I thought it might be nice to savor two moments from Friday night courtesy of our good friend, Kai Buck Dambach:

Men's soccer B1G 2014 semi - Celebrate

And

Men's soccer B1G 2014 Semi - Zack & Crew

The Maryland team that traveled to Indiana to face the Hoosiers was a different group from the one that had played two previous Big Ten conference road games. This squad was coming off three consecutive wins, including a 4-0 rout of Penn State, and was growing in confidence. Of course, those three wins had come at home so the game in Bloomington would be the first road test of the newly confident Terps.

And it wouldn't be easy. The Hoosiers were ranked fifth in the nation at that point and the Terps, who opened the season with a number two ranking, had fallen out of the top twenty-five. The Terrapins proved more than equal to the test grabbing a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute on a goal by Alex Shinsky:

Sauers played the ball to Alex Shinsky in space and the senior took over from there. With three Hoosiers traling behind him and two more several yards to his right, Shinsky took two long dribbles to the left corner of the eighteen yard box. On a brilliant solo move, he faked right and pushed the ball further left to just outside the six. As he went to the turf he managed a perfectly angled shot to the far post that Webb could merely admire.

Defender Alex Crognale scored early in the second half on continued pressure by the Terps following a corner kick. The home team registered their goal in the 73rd minute but the Terps came away with the 2-1 win.

From that point forward, Maryland continued to roll winning five straight before playing to a 0-0 tie with Michigan State Friday night. Indiana has also played well since then. The Hoosiers have won five lost one and tied two. Because all of their losses came in league play, Indiana found themselves in the odd position of being ranked sixth in RPI but holding only the sixth seed in the B1G Tournament. In another curious development, all of the Hoosiers' losses came on their home field. They are 5-0-2 on the road and 3-0-0 on neutral fields.

Matching it up - the offense

Saying that Maryland and Indiana match up very closely on the offensive half of the pitch is a bit of an understatement. After Friday's semifinals, both teams average precisely 1.65 goals per game. Since they met on October 19th, both teams have scored 13 goals though the Hoosiers have played seven games and the Terps only six.

While Indiana has developed a bit more balance in their attack over the last third of the season, their unquestioned leader is Tanner Thompson. Thompson leads the Hoosiers with six goals and fifteen points. Half of his goals have come since the first match.

Patrick Doody (4 goals, 5 assists) and Femi Hollinger-Janzen (5 goals) follow closely behind Thompson. Additionally, Matt Foldesy has come on to score both of his goals over the final third of the season.

For Maryland, the situation is essentially unchanged from Friday when I noted "Junior transfer Mael Corboz leads the Terps with nine goals and 21 points. George Campbell and David Kabelik each have four goals for Maryland while Mikias Eticha and Dan Metzger have three apiece." The change for the Terps is the health of freshman George Campbell. Campbell apparently re-injured his ankle either in the game with Rutgers or during the week leading up to the semifinals and did not play in Friday's game with the Spartans. Maryland coach Sasho Cirovski said after the game that he hoped Campbell would be available Sunday.

And on defense

The story on defense is, in some ways similar but with the Terps holding a slight edge over the Hoosiers. Indiana has conceded 18 goals for the season compared with 17 for the Terrapins. For those interested in goals per game, the averages would be 0.90 for Indiana and 0.85 for Maryland. In their seven games since playing Maryland, Indiana has recorded two shutouts and yielded seven goals. Over the same stretch, Maryland has played six games with three shutouts and five goals conceded.

Zack vs. Colin

Let's take a look at the two goalkeepers - Colin Webb for Indiana and Maryland's Zack Steffen. Steffen has played every minute in goal for the Terps and Webb has done the same for the Hoosiers. Here's how they match up:

Goals Allowed GAA Saves Save %
Webb 18 0.86 65 0.783
Steffen 17 0.82 32 0.653

And both teams go to

Last season Indiana entered the Big Ten Tournament as the fifth seed after finishing 2-4 in conference play. The Hoosiers had a losing record for the season and could only reach the NCAA Tournament by winning the B1G Tournament Championship. They did just that taking down Michigan, Penn State, and Michigan State in sequence. Though they again came into the B1G tourney with a low seed, with a 12-3-5 record and a number six ranking in RPI, Indiana is in no danger of missing the 2014 NCAA Tournament.

Like Indiana, as the Big Ten Champions, Maryland is also in no danger of missing the NCAA tourney. The teams are essentially playing for bragging rights and seeding. A road win for Indiana could secure them one of the top four seeds and allow them to play at home until the College Cup. A win for the Terps could move them up a line and earn them a home game or two but is not likely to earn them one of the top four spots.