Make that two years in the Big Ten and two Big Ten Tournament championships for Maryland men's soccer. The Terrapins bested Ohio State 2-0 in the tournament final in Columbus on Sunday to cap their sophomore season in the conference on a high note.
After a thrilling penalty-kick victory in the semifinals against Indiana, the No. 3 seed Terps were able to avenge a 1-0 regular season loss to the No. 1 seed Buckeyes.
GOAL @MarylandMSoccer! Eryk Williamson puts the Terps up 1-0 vs Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship on BTN. https://t.co/Gv3ScnjBBp— Soccer on BTN (@SoccerOnBTN) November 15, 2015
After being held goalless in the first 16 games of the season, Williamson found the net twice in the Terps' season finale against Rutgers, and followed that up with another goal against Michigan in the first round of the tournament. He's been a big part of the team's offense for the entire season, but he's begun to really show his worth on the stat sheet lately.
The freshman was also involved in the Terps' second goal, which came in the 87th minute. After Williamson's breakaway shot was deflected by Ohio State goalkeeper Chris Froschauer, Tsubasa Endoh was able to easily knock the ball into the net to give Maryland a 2-0 lead.
Maryland goalkeeper Cody Niedermeier had one of his best performances of the season against the Buckeyes. The redshirt junior constantly jumped out to grab crosses and corners that were no-man's land. Ohio State came extremely close to scoring on a corner late in the 82nd minute, but Niedermeier was able to pounce on a slow-roller that just stopped between a group of Maryland and Ohio State players. He finished with one save.
Ohio State's Chris Froschauer allowed the two goals, but also only had to make one save Sunday. Both of the goals weren't exactly his fault, as Williamson's shot was from only a few feet out, and Endoh's goal was on a breakaway.
Both teams had more fouls than shots in the first half, with the Terps outshooting and out-fouling the Buckeyes, holding a 6-to-4 shot advantage but committing seven penalties to Ohio State's five.
Ohio State's Zac Mason had two shots on the day, including an absolute rocket from about 20 yards out in the 70th minute that hit the top post. Yaw Amankwa, the Buckeyes' top offensive threat, caught an elbow in the 50th minute and sat out about half of the second period. He didn't attempt a shot in the game.
The Terrapins survived a Ohio State's obligatory late-game push to tie it, and a Tsubasa Endoh run almost resulted in a second goal for the team before Buckeye defenders consumed the three Maryland attackers to keep the lead at one. Both teams finished the game with 11 shots.
The NCAA will announce the full 48-team field for this year's men's soccer tournament Monday at 1 p.m. The Terps just gave themselves a big boost in seeding with this victory.