Maryland men’s soccer was playing at its highest level of the season entering Tuesday night’s match against Penn State. Despite blowing a 2-0 lead to send the match to overtime, the Terps walked it off for a 3-2 victory.
Paul Bin suffered an injury against Denver last week, and it kept him sidelined against Ohio State on Friday night. He was held out of this match until the score was tied in the 84th minute, but it was his strike in the second period of overtime that ended the game in the 107th minute in perhaps the final match at Ludwig Field this season.
Maryland (7-5-3, 4-3 Big Ten) posted 10 shots on goal to Penn State’s four and outshot the Nittay Lions 13-9 overall. Senior Amar Sejdic led the attack with six shots and four strikes on frame, highlighted by his fifth goal of the season in the 44th minute.
The Terps struck first in the 27th minute, when Vinicius Lansade stepped into the spotlight. A throw-in came from the far sideline and into the box, and Sebastian Elney got a head on it. The ball fell to the ground, and Penn State attempted to clear it. But a ricochet gave Lansade possession, and after a quick dribble, he beat Levine inside the right post to take the lead.
After a freshman scored the first goal, it was time for an upperclassman to step up and make a play. Andrew Samuels made a short pass to Sejdic, who made a terrific run to the left side of the box. He fired a strike towards the goal, and Levine had no chance of stopping it. All of a sudden, Maryland held a 2-0 lead, and a second consecutive blowout became a real possibility.
Penn State capitalized on a great chance at cutting the deficit, as Callum Pritchatt ripped a bullet of a shot towards the left post with 23 seconds left in the half. St. Clair made a diving stop, but off a clear attempt from the Terps, Aaron Molloy’s miracle shot found a seam through a crowd of Maryland defenders and snuck by St. Clair with just two seconds left on the clock. The Terrapins were stunned by a late goal to end a half for the third time this season, and the teams went into the break with a 2-1 lead.
Maryland controlled the beginning of the second half, getting a number of looks on goal. Sejdic had consecutive chances in the 64th and 65th minutes, but they were saved and blocked, respectively. Just four minutes later, Matzelevich made a run towards the box, but his shot was right at Levine, and he made an easy save.
The Nittany Lions matched the Terps shot-for-shot, but they failed to get anything of substance on goal after the break. However, it seemed like only a matter of time before they got a quality scoring chance, and unfortunately for Maryland, it was a great one.
With just under seven minutes remaining, Pritchatt crossed a ball into the box. Donovan Pines, all 6’5 of him, was there as he always is. The junior headed the ball out of harm’s way, but it bounced right to Noah Pilato a few yards out of the box. On a volley, his strike evaded St. Clair just enough and finished inside the post to tie the score.
In overtime, Maryland dominated the play but couldn’t get any high-quality chances on net until Bin broke through in the 107th. Since coming on in the 83rd minute, he was the quickest player on the pitch, and in the biggest spot of the year, he delivered with a rocket of a shot to win the match with just over three minutes to play.
Three things to know
1. Paul Bin delivered once again. His absence against Ohio State wasn’t that noticeable as the Terps easily won 5-0. But in the second half tonight, the attack lacked a spark. It took the defense blowing the lead for him to make an appearance, but Sasho Cirovski’s decision to bring him worked out in the best possible fashion.
2. The offense was efficient. Maryland tallied just 13 shots on the night, a far cry from its season-high of 22 last time out against Rutgers. But 10 of those chances were on goal, forcing Levine to make a lot of stops. He was able to most of the time, but the Terps were able to get three past him.
3. The back line blew the lead. For most of the season, a one goal has felt safe given the high level of play of the defense at large. And given a 2-0 cushion, a win felt nearly automatic. But a stunning goal to end the first half cut the score to 2-1, and in the final minutes of the half, they gave up the equalizer.