The Maryland men’s soccer team beat the Wisconsin Badgers, 3-2, in a thrilling overtime contest Friday night at Ludwig Field to extend their winning streak to eight and remain unbeaten this season.
Eryk Williamson scored the golden goal with two and a half minutes left in the first overtime period to put away the Badgers for good.
With this win, the No. 1 Terps (11-0-2, 6-0-1 Big Ten) clinch at least a share of the 2016 Big Ten Regular Season title. This is Maryland’s fourth regular season conference title in the past five years.
With just 2:18 remaining in regulation, senior defender Alex Crognale stepped up to force overtime. The Terps were awarded what looked to be an unwarranted corner, upon second look. Amar Sejdic’s corner was flicked on by Chris Odoi-Atsem at the near post, before being put away by Crognale at the far post.
Crognale scored Maryland’s first goal as well, redirecting Sejdic’s free kick into the bottom right corner to give the Terps the early lead in the 12th minute.
Wisconsin struck back with two quick, back-to-back goals in the second half. Badgers defender Sam Brotherton tied up the match in the 64th minute and snapped a ridiculous 529-minute plus shutout streak for the Terps. Just under three minutes later, forward Mark Segbers netted Christopher Mueller’s cross to give the Badgers the lead. Mueller recorded two assists on the night.
This was the first time Maryland had trailed since last month’s home game against Penn State.
Maryland led 7-3 in shots at halftime. After Crognale’s first goal, the Terps had a slew of opportunities to double their advantage but failed to convert their chances.
Gordon Wild almost made it two just over a minute later. Jake Rozhansky was brought down at the edge of the 18-yard box, and the ensuing free-kick nearly snuck in past Wisconsin goalkeeper Philip Schilling.
In the 15th minute, Rozhansky himself had the chance to tuck away the rebound after Chris Odoi-Atsem’s initial shot was denied by Schilling. Odoi-Atsem received the ball on the right flank from Sejdic, played a one-two pass with Williamson, and bullied through his defender before striking the ball with his right foot. The rebound fell straight to Rozhansky, whose shot was cleared off the line.
“After we scored the first goal, I thought we could’ve had another three,” said Maryland head coach Sasho Cirovski. “When you give a team some hope and they come out in the second half with a little more energy, they start to believe.
“We didn't have the knockout punch in the first half and they sucker-punched us with one fortuitous goal and one good goal. We showed some championship fiber today, in the same game where we showed a little bit of weakness.”
Crognale’s name was the only change to the lineup tonight. The 6’5 center-back sat out against West Virginia after suffering a minor setback against Ohio State last Friday.
The Terps finished the game with 12 shots, 11 on goal, to Wisconsin’s seven (seven on goal). After a career-high eight saves against West Virginia, Maryland goalkeeper Cody Niedermeier managed another five tonight.
Maryland continues its homestand Tuesday at 7 p.m. against American. The match will be broadcast on BTN Plus.