With time running out in the regular season, Maryland men’s soccer desperately needed a resume-building victory to improve its chances to make the NCAA Tournament. Against the No. 7-ranked Denver Pioneers, the Terps pulled off the upset, winning 1-0 in a wire-to-wire victory.
The Terps haven’t spent much time leading this season, and in three of their victories, they were ahead for less than 30 minutes combined. However, Paul Bin decided to buck that trend, scoring on a header in the fifth minute of play off a free-kick assist from Chase Gasper.
Despite scoring so quickly, Maryland’s attack matched Denver’s shot-for-shot for the rest of the first half. Each team had three shots apiece following the goal, but the Pioneers were extremely accurate.
Dayne St. Clair had one of his best halves of the season, as the junior faced three shots on goal in a 10-minute span. None were especially threatening, but the goalkeeper still had to make the saves. He did just that, stopping the trio of scoring chances to keep the Terps in front heading into the half.
Maryland took little time looking to extend its lead, as Johannes Bergmann took a strike towards the goal just 51 seconds into the second half. But Pioneers goalkeeper Will Palmquist made his first and only save of the night, and the Terrapins couldn’t get that close again.
The Pioneers continued their precision after the break, and every Denver shot was on goal until the 80th minute. St. Clair made two quick stops in the 48th and 50th minutes, raising his save total to five on the night. He wouldn’t face a shot on goal for the rest of the match, and he did exactly what he needed to do to ensure the Terps wouldn’t suffer another heartbreak.
Denver tried to penetrate the back line in hopes of tying the score, but its attackers failed to enter the 18-yard box with a chance to score. Shots in the 80th and 82nd minutes were blocked and wide, respectively, and numerous crosses were unsuccessful.
Denver had a late push, but couldn’t get anything of substance working. Maryland’s back line held up, and the Terps had their second wire-to-wire victory of the season.
Three things to know
1. Paul Bin continues his impressive season. The junior entered Tuesday night’s match with two goals on the season, and less than five minutes into the match, he had his third under his belt. Bin is now tied with William James Herve for the team lead in goals with three, and he’s been a huge catalyst for Maryland’s attack.
2. Andre Shinyashiki was kept in check. He still leads the nation in goals by a wide margin—scoring 21 with nobody else above 14—but against Maryland, Shinyashiki was held scoreless for just the fifth time this season. He got a couple shots off throughout the match, both of which were on goal, but the senior couldn’t find a way to get the ball in the back of the net. Denver is now 1-2-2 in games in which Shinyashiki doesn’t score, which is now the blueprint to defeat the Pioneers.
3. Maryland’s tournament hopes got a huge boost. They aren’t receiving any votes in the United Soccer Coaches Poll, but entering this week, RPI had the Terrapins ranked No. 33. This victory immediately becomes their most impressive victory of the season, and that’ll do wonders for their tournament resume.