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Maryland men's soccer draws Michigan in scoreless B1G opener

The Terps opened Big Ten play unable to make anything happen against a tough Michigan defense.

Ryan Connors

The Maryland men's soccer team took home its second overtime draw of the season against Michigan Friday night in a game that lacked any form of consistent offense.

The Terps just couldn't create many scoring chances against the Wolverine defense, only attemping 12 shots on the day, well below the average of 20.5 shots per game they had entering the match. This lined up with the 11.3 opponents shots per game Michigan brought into the tilt.

Michigan had a 15-12 shot advantage over the Terps that it kept throughout the game, but Maryland had more shots on goal, finishing with a 7-5 edge in that department. Neither team could muster up consistent attacks on goal throughout the game, and Maryland only attempted five shots in the second half.

Maryland coach Sasho Cirovski said there was no way to adjust to what he refferred to as Michigan's "direct" style of play.

"How can you [adjust] when every ball goes 40 yards over your center back's head?" he said. "The game certainly lacked rythm and tempo."

Michigan attempted a barrage of shots to start overtime, but Maryland quieted the Wolverines attack in the second period of overtime, while the Terps only had one shot in either period of extra time.

Freshman Jorge Calix drew a red card in the 75th minute when he elbowed MIchigan's Billy Stevens on a punt by Niedermeier. Calix's elbow was clearly inadvertent, so he probably shouldn't have been sent off. Regardless, Maryland played the rest of the game a man down.

"I didn't see anything," Cirovski said.

Mael Corboz shifted from defensive midfielder, a position occupied Friday by Andrew Samuels, back to the more scoring midfield position he played last season, and it showed in the shots column Friday. After coming in with one goal and nine shots on the season, Corboz had four shots on the day and said he had more "freedom" within the offense.

The first half was a fairly boring affair. Both teams took six shots, with the Terps holding an 4-1 advantage in the shots-on-goal. Most of the half was played closer to the middle of the field, and both teams had trouble finding chances.

"There wasn't a lot of chances for either team in the first half," Cirovksi said. "There wasn't  much soccer at all. It looked like a ping-pong match."

Freshman forwards Sebastian Elney and Eryk Williamson have turned in impressive seasons so far, but neither made much of an impact in the first half.

Both freshmen made more of an impression in period No. 2. Elney had a couple quality bursts of speed to get Maryland deep into Michigan territory, while Williamson potentially saved a goal in the second half.

After Maryland deflected one Riley Woods corner out of bounds in the 58th minute, Williamson headed away an Andre Morris shot off another Woods corner that was on its way to the left post, preserving the tie.

Senior Colin McAtee led the Wolverines offense with six shots, three of them on goal, while freshman Francis Atuahene added four shots and used his blazing speed to cause trouble for Maryland's back line on multiple occaisions.

Goalkeeper Cody Niedermeier turned in his second shutout in goal in his third start of the season. Coach Sasho Cirovski has alternated starting Niedermeier with freshman Dayne St. Clair, and while no frontrunner in the race to become permanent starter has been named, Niedermeier was quick to praise his defense for his success, and that certainly was true Friday night. However, the redshirt junior hasn't done anything to lose the competition yet.

Ivan Magalhaes exited the game in the 49th minute and reentered seven minutes later with what appeared to be an ace bandage on his head. He played the rest of the game with much of his head covered in the bandage, and didn't shy away from using his cranium when necessary, heading several balls throughout the second half.

A Tsubasa Endoh shot well over the crossbar in the 109th minute was Maryland's last shot attempt in the waning minutes of the game when both teams were frantically trying to create chances to get the winning goal, but both squads came up empty.

The Terps will take on Navy at home on Monday before playing their second Big Ten game next Friday at Michigan State.