Maryland advanced to the semifinals of the Big Ten men's soccer tournament thanks to some big contributions from the team's freshmen and a late flurry of goals in the Terps' 5-2 victory over Michigan in the first round of play at Ludwig Field Sunday afternoon.
The Terps will move on to face two-seed Indiana, which beat Wisconsin 1-0 Sunday. That game will take place on Friday at either Indiana or Ohio State. If one-seed Ohio State beats Penn State, the Buckeyes will host, but if they loose, the Hoosiers get the honors.
Freshman Sebastian Elney started off the scoring for Maryland, snapping a five-week goalless streak to give the Terps a 1-0 lead in the 24th minute. After Chris Odoi-Atsem received the ball five yards outside the box, he crossed it in to Elney, who was able to get a lot of power on a header and push it into the top left corner of the net.
Fellow freshman forward Eryk Williamson doubled Maryland's lead right after halftime. After Michigan's defense spit a Tsubasa Endoh corner right back to him in the 47th minute, Endoh launched a cross right back in front of the goal and Williamson headed it home. The goal was Williamson's third of the season, with both of his previous goals coming in the team's regular-season finale against Rutgers.
Amar Sejdic, Alex Crognale and Chris Odoi-Atsem all added goals late in the second half as the Terps took a commanding lead.
Elney exited the game in the 55th minute after he appeared to suffer a non-contact injury to his leg. He was examined on the sidelines for a while before taking a seat on the bench for the remainder of the game.
Maryland Cody Niedermeier had one of his easier days of the season on Sunday. The Wolverines finished the day with four shot attempts, all of which came on goal. They scored one goal on a penalty kick in the 65th minute and the other on a rebound after Niedermeier couldn't corral a shot in the 87th minute.
Maryland's back line played extremely well against a Michigan squad that finished third in the Big Ten in goals and fourth in shots this season. The Wolverines rarely were able to make runs into the box, and the four shots allowed speaks for itself.
Apart from Elney's goal, there really wasn't much action in the first half. Maryland's defense completely stifled the Wolverines, holding them without a shot in the entire half. The Terps had six shots in the period, but couldn't get many quality looks.
The second half started out similarly. The game was 2-1 in the 65th minute, but ended 5-2 after a flurry of goals at the end of the game.
After suffering from an offensive drought for part of the season, the Terps have now scored eight goals in their last two games, a pace they'd like to continue against the Hoosiers on Friday.