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Maryland men’s soccer falls to Michigan, 2-1, to end regular season

It’s the Terps’ fourth straight loss, and they’ll be the No. 4 seed in the conference tournament.

maryland men’s soccer

With Maryland men’s soccer tied with Michigan 1-1 midway through the second half, a different Big Ten score became known. Indiana and Michigan State drew in East Lansing, so the winner between the Terps and Wolverines would be the Big Ten regular season champions.

But after both teams scored in the first half, neither side could finish on its chances in regulation. In double-overtime, Michigan scored in the 104th minute, dropping Maryland to the No. 4 seed. The loss is Maryland’s fourth in a row.

The Terps found themselves trailing for the fourth time in as many games just seven minutes into the match. Michigan’s Marc Ybarra sent in a corner kick toward the near post, where Daniel Mukuna headed it past Dayne St. Clair for his third goal of the season.

But unlike the previous three—where the Terps were held scoreless—Maryland responded with a goal of its own. After forward Gordon Wild’s cross, substitute DJ Reeves won a battle in the box and spun and scored to end the team’s 310-minute scoreless streak. It was Maryland’s first goal since Oct. 13 against Wisconsin.

The Terps had five corner kicks prior to the equalizing goal, but couldn’t create a threatening shot following the cross. Wild took a free kick from just outside the box in the 18th minute, but it was blocked out for a corner.

The Wolverines outshot the Terps, 7-4, in the first half, but the two teams entered halftime tied at one.

Just one minute into the second half, Wild played another cross into the box. Michigan defender Marcello Borges, without an attacker near him, passed the cross back to his goalkeeper. Several Terps raised their hands looking for what could have been called an illegal pass, which would’ve given Maryland an indirect free kick inside the box.

The referees, though, did not agree with Maryland.

St. Clair was forced to make a stellar save in the 51st minute, when Wolverines forward Mohammed Zakyi outmuscled his defender and shot from just six yards out. The redshirt sophomore keeper momentarily preserved the draw.

Maryland nearly took the lead following quality combination play that started with forward Eryk Williamson. The junior played through ball up to senior midfielder Jake Rozhansky, who laid off a pass to forward Sebastian Elney. Michigan goalkeeper Henry Mashburn make a diving stop to keep Elney’s far-post shot out of net.

In the 74th minute, St. Clair made another incredible save after a scrum in the box resulted in two blocked shots and a rocket on goal by Wolverines forward Francis Atuahene. With under three minutes to play in regulation, the Wolverines were threatening again before St. Clair performed a slide tackle to clear the ball out of the box.

No goals were scored by either side in the second half despite 13 combined shots, sending the game to overtime.

After another incredible save by St. Clair—his best of the afternoon—in double-overtime, the Wolverines snuck in a goal from Atuahene in the 104th minute to win the Big Ten regular season title.

With the loss, Maryland (10-4-3) earns the No. 4 seed for the Big Ten Tournament, which will start next Sunday, Nov. 5 at home for the Terps.

Three things to know

  1. The scoreless streak is over. After failing to score in three consecutive matches—the longest stretch of head coach Sasho Cirovski’s tenure—Maryland finally put the ball in the back of the net after a 310-minute drought. It wasn’t one of the Terps’ leading goal-scorers, but DJ Reeves, a substitute. It was a much-needed goal to not only end a tough streak, but to equalize an important match on the last day of the regular season.
  2. It was another wild finish between the Terps and Wolverines. Both meetings between Maryland and Michigan last season resulted in a pair of 3-2 double-overtime wins for the Terps. In the regular season, the Terps were down 2-0 at half before scoring three unanswered goals to remain unbeaten. In the Big Ten Quarterfinals, the two teams traded goals before Maryland won in overtime once again. This time, though, it was the Wolverines who came away victorious.
  3. Maryland earns the No. 4 seed in the conference tournament. Indiana and Michigan State played to a 1-1 draw in East Lansing, a game that concluded during the second half of Maryland-Michigan. With that knowledge, if there was a winner in College Park, that team would be the lone Big Ten Champions and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament. Michigan started the day in fourth place, but ended with the title. Maryland falls to fourth, and will host the No. 5 seed next Sunday in the quarterfinals.