After junior midfielder Amar Sejdic scored a pair of goals in the first half to give the Terps a 2-1 lead, Eryk Williamson scored a second-half hat trick in a nine-goal offensive shootout in Wisconsin.
With heavy rains causing slick playing conditions, Maryland would need all three from Williamson to claim a wild 5-4 win on the road against the Badgers that came down to a last-second corner kick opportunity.
In the first half, the slippery surface caused senior defender Chase Gasper to stumble and fall in the box during the eighth minute. The pass skipped to forward Mark Segber, who opportunistically scored to give his team an early 1-0 lead against the third-ranked Terps.
The goal was the first allowed by Maryland against a Big Ten opponent all season. Wisconsin, which entered the game unbeaten in its last 20 homes games, was off to a fast start in the rain in Madison.
It was the Terps’ last regular season road match, but on their longest rest of the year after not playing since last Friday night against Ohio State. With a chance to complete a second straight season unbeaten on the road, it was the Badgers who pressured early.
Wisconsin held the ball on Maryland’s side of the field for most of the first 10 minutes, helping spark the early lead. But from that moment on, the Terps began to attack the Badgers’ box.
Williamson, Jake Rozhansky and Gordon Wild all had shots blocked in the attacking third, but Maryland finally received a shot at high-percentage opportunity. Working a give-and-go with Sejdic, Rozhansky was tripped up inside the box to earn a penalty kick.
After the team failed to convert of both penalty kicks last week against Ohio State, Sejdic stutter-stepped and scored for his second goal of the season to tie the game in the 20th minute.
Defender Johannes Bergmann crossed the ball into the box 15 minutes later, where Sejdic ripped a one-time attempt into the upper left-hand corner of the net to give Maryland its first lead of the night.
A steady rain turned into a downpour in the second half, which favored both offenses for the rest of the match. The Terps threatened to extend the scoring, but shots by Williamson and Sebastian Elney were blocked inside the box early in the half.
The momentum switched to the Badgers midway through, but goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair preserved the tie momentarily. He made a one-handed diving save in the 61st minute, but couldn’t replicate the result five minutes later. Wisconsin earned its third corner kick in a two-minute span, which finally equalized the score. Tom Barlow headed home a corner just past St. Clair to tie the game with 30 minutes left to play in regulation.
But like they’ve done many times this season, the Terps responded quickly. Williamson scored in both the 69th and 70th minutes to smother any hope Wisconsin had at handing Maryland its first loss of the season.
Williamson ran into the box unmarked after all the defensive attention turned to Rozhansky, hitting the ball into the top of the net to regain the lead. The very next minute, the junior curled a shot into the side netting past a shocked Badgers goalkeeper.
Senior George Campbell received his second yellow card of the night in the 83rd minute, leaving Maryland to fight with 10 men for the remainder of the match. He’ll have to sit out in the Terps’ next match. Even with a man down, Williamson broke away for his third goal of the night in the 85th minute.
The Badgers earned a late penalty kick, scored by Chris Mueller for his Big Ten-leading seventh of the season. They scored again to make it a one-goal game with 40 seconds remaining, but the Terps held on in a wild finish.
No. 3 Maryland (10-0-3) will return to College Park for a highly-anticipated match Tuesday night at 7 p.m. ET against a local foe, No. 9 Georgetown.
Three things to know
- The Terps ran through their road games unbeaten. Matches away from home are the hardest to win, but the Terps embraced the challenge. Maryland finishes the season unbeaten on the road in the regular season for the second year on the road. The Terps won five of their seven away games, while drawing UMBC and then-ranked No. 6 Michigan State. Maryland will play its last four regular season games at Ludwig Field, three of which are against nonconference opponents.
- It’s Maryland’s highest-scoring game of the season. Whether it was the full week of rest or the slippery playing surface, Maryland’s offense produced its most goals since Aug. 25 against Santa Clara. Both Sejdic and Williamson recorded multi-goal games, giving the Terps their second four-plus scoring contest of the season. Maryland had three such games in 2016.
- Head coach Sasho Cirvoski won his 400th career game. With the win, Cirovski becomes the ninth Division I coach to join the 400-win club. In his 27th year of collegiate coaching, Cirovski has had just one losing season between his two years at Harford and his now-25th year in College Park. Cirovski currently holds a 400-145-55 all-time record.