The Maryland men's soccer team enters Friday's matchup with Indiana looking to advance to the Big Ten Championship Game for the second year in a row.
Friday's game pits the Big Ten's presason top two against each other, as the Terps were voted No. 1 and the Hoosiers No. 2 in the conference's preseason poll. That ended up being fairly accurate prediction, as Indiana finished second in the Big Ten and Maryland third. The teams played to a scoreless overtime draw in College Park in their regular season meeting on Oct. 19.
Maryland has scored eight goals in its last two games, and in finally getting in a groove on offense after struggling for much of the season. Freshman Sebastian Elney broke a five-week goalless streak in the Terps' 5-2 win over Michigan in the first round of the tournament on Sunday.
The winner of the 3:30 p.m. game will take on either No. 1 Ohio State or No. 4 Rutgers.
An updated look at the Big Ten men's soccer tournament bracket. Ohio State will host from here on out. pic.twitter.com/a5QSrqirMP— Ryan Connors (@ryanconnors11) November 8, 2015
Maryland is still in a good position to make the NCAA Tournament. The Terps received the second-most votes of any team that didn't make the most recent Coaches Poll, and come in at No. 23 in RPI. That will almost undoubtedly be enough to get them into the 48-team field that comprises the tournament, but they could really help their seeding with a win Friday.
How to witness:
Twitter: Follow @ryanconnors for updates from the game.
Players to watch:
Femi Hollinger-Janzen, forward. As he did the last time Maryland played Indiana, the senior still has more than two times more goals than anyone else on the team. He scores so many goals.
Colin Webb, goalkeeper. Webb leads the conference in goals against average and shutouts per game, but his saves per game and save percentage leave much to be desired. He hasn't had to work too hard this season, but that's because his defense is good.
They don't allow many goals. As noted above, goalkeeper Colin Webb leads the Big Ten in goals against average, which reflects more on his defense than it does on him. They've only allowed 14 goals and 54 shots on goal all season.
Getting off to a fast start. The Hoosiers have 17 first-half goals this season, while they've only let in 10 in the second half. They've allowed the same number of goals in each half this season, so they've been able to score without having their play suffer on the other end.
Goalkeeper play. Team's don't get many shots on goal against Indiana, but when they do, their luck is OK. Webb has made 37 saves and allowed 14 goals on the season, which isn't bad. This is probably nitpicking, because Indiana is a team without any glaring weaknesses.