Against Indiana this Friday, Maryland men's soccer has a chance to take sole control of first place in the Big Ten.
The No. 18 Terrapins come into the matchup trailing Michigan by half a game for first place in the conference,a and will also be looking to make it three wins in a row after their back-to-back victories over Villanova and Penn State last week. George Campbell had the program's first hat trick since 2005 on Friday against the Nittany Lions and Tsubasah Endoh added his second goal of the season to give the Terps a 4-3 win. Those two wins vaulted Maryland from No. 51 to No. 25 in RPI. Just like last year, the Terps could be hitting their stride at exactly the right time.
The Hoosiers come into this game sporting a rather odd record, as they have the most total wins of any team in the conference this season with seven. However, only one of those wins has come in Big Ten play. The No. 2 team in the Big Ten preseason poll (Maryland was No. 1) has some work to do down the stretch if it wants to get into the postseason.
How to Witness:
Online: Streaming at BTN2go
Twitter: Follow @ryanconnors11 for updates throughout the game.
Players to watch:
Femi Hollinger-Janzen, forward. The senior is the team's leading goal-scorer and shot-taker. With six goals, Hollinger-Janzer has twice as many as the next-best player on the team. He'll be the main scoring threat, as he averages half-a-goal per game.
Colin Webb, goalkeeper. He's not spectacular, but Indiana's netminder isn't bad either. Webb is fourth in the Big Ten in goals against average at 0.95, which is soldi, but he ranks ninth in the conference in save percentage at 0.64, so it's certainly not impossible to get the ball by him.
Grant Lillard, defense. A preseason Big Ten Player to Watch, Lillard is second on the team in points and goals, only trailing Hollinger-Janzen in both categories despite the fact that he is a defender. Not that defenders can't score, but it's significant that the sophomore scores more often than any of the other strikers.
Working the goalkeeper. Maryland's Cody Niedermeier should be plenty active in this one. Indiana ranks in the top three in the conference in goals, shots, assists and points.
Getting to the line. The Hoosiers have attempted more penalty kicks than any other team in the Big Ten, and is tied for the highest percentage of PKs converted.
Discipline. Indiana has been penalized less than any other team in the conference, only drawing nine yellow cards and zero reds this year. Maryland is second-best at not shooting itself in the foot, only drawing 12 yellows on the season.
Matchup up against B1G opponents. For whatever reason, the Hoosiers haven't been the same since they started playing other Big Ten teams. In conference play, they rank last or tied for last in goals per game and assists per game, and second to last in goals against average.
Nothing else, really. If the Hoosiers keep being bad at offense and defense, then they won't have a shot. If they start being good again, they'll certainly have a shot against Maryland.