Maryland men's soccer advanced to the Big Ten Tournament Championship with an incredible 3-2 victory in penalty kicks over Indiana Friday in Columbus, Ohio.
Freshman Connor Smith, who had yet to find the net this season, scored the winning goal.
Indiana surprised many by bringing on junior Christian Lomeli, who hadn't played a minute all season, to play goalkeeper in penalty kicks. Lomeli was equal to Cody Niedermeier, as the keepers traded back-to-back-to-back-to-back saves after Indiana took a 2-1 penalty-kick lead. Indiana's Colin Webb, who spent the entirety of regulation and overtime in goal for the Hoosiers, then exchanged misses with Maryland's David Kabelik to send it into sudden death. Neidermeier saved Tim Mehl's shot before Smith got the best of Lomeli to end it.
After two goals put the score at 1-1 after 11 minutes, the two teams didn't score again until after overtime.
Tsubasa Endoh put the third-seeded Terps on top with a early goal in the eighth minute. Eryk Williamson set the score up perfectly after originally losing the ball to his defender. He was able to get the ball right back from freshman Andrew Gutman, who tripped as he tried to get away, and forwarded the ball to Endoh after a few touches.
But Indiana's Phil Fives tied the game up only three minutes later. Tanner Thompson pushed a corner kick right into the box, and after Derek Creviston's kick was blocked, the ball was set up perfectly for Fives, who slammed home an easy goal into the corner of the net as Maryland goalkeeper Cody Niedermeier could only watch.
The game then went scoreless.
Maryland was able to shut down Femi Hollinger-Janzen, Indiana's top scorer and main offensive threat, for most of the game. Hollinger-Janzen couldn't hold the ball for long before Terrapin defenders would swarm him and force him to give it up. He did come extremely close to tying the game up late in the second half and in overtime, but his shots in 83rd and 98th minutes went just wide right to keep the game tied.
Indiana neutralized Maryland's offense for much of the game, allowing 14 shots after the Terps had scored eight goals in their previous two games. Maryland's offense is at its best when Endoh and Mael Corboz are able to control the offense and get the ball to Sebastian Elney, but those three players were all silenced for much of the game.
Obviously penalty kicks were a different story, but Niedermeier had an easy time in goal during regulation. He had some close calls in overtime, where he had to deal with several corners and crosses, but he kept everything in front of him. The redshirt junior only let in the one goal and only had to make six saves. Indiana goalkeeper Colin Webb had an even easier day, only having to make five saves.
After a fast-paced beginning to the game, each team settled down and the defenses dominated for most of the first half. Each team had six shots and one goal in the half, but the goalkeepers only needed to make three shots between the two of them.
The second half, once again, was more of the same. Maryland had 7 shots while Indiana had 6. Niether team did much until the obligatory gaggle of shot attempts late in regulation. Overtime was a different animal, with both teams cranking up the pace and energy, but neither getting on the scoreboard.
The Terps will play Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship in Columbus this Sunday at 1 p.m.