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Maryland men’s soccer can’t take advantage of scoring opportunities in 0-0 draw to Wisconsin

The Terps had an opportunity to climb ranks in the Big Ten, but couldn’t convert offensively against the Badgers.

Brayan Padilla Maryland soccer Sarah Sopher / Testudo Times

In an away match at Wisconsin, Maryland men’s soccer searched for the victory that could have lifted it towards the top of the Big Ten standings.

But after 110 minutes of play, the Terps failed to take advantage of the opportunity in front of them, tying against Wisconsin 0-0 in double overtime.

Following an emotional victory over No. 9 St. John’s at Ludwig last Monday night, Maryland couldn’t sink the Badgers for the third straight match between the two teams. Despite appearing to out-class its opposition for most of the match, Sasho Cirovski’s club couldn’t manage to put one across to escape Madison with a victory.

The Terps put on one one of their best offensive displays of the season Friday night despite not scoring a goal, totaling a season-high 18 shots, nine shots of which were on goal. Earning a season-high 13 corner kicks as well, Maryland had all the chances it needed to get the go-ahead goal it needed to move to 5-3 on the season, but simply couldn’t convert in the final third.

The offensive effort was led by sophomore forward Brayan Padilla, showing some of his potential as an attacker with six total shots for the match, with four on goal. Padilla nearly put the Terps out in front on several occasions, but was stonewalled by Wisconsin keeper Dean Cowdroy, who would finish the match with an astounding nine saves.

Although it took nearly 109 minutes for Maryland to get on the board in its last match, Maryland lacked the extra attacker it could’ve used in a game such as this. Nearing the end of the first half, freshman forward Malcolm Johnston was ejected from the match for a takedown in the match’s 40th minute, the team’s first red card of the 2019 season.

Playing with 10 men for the final 70 minutes, Maryland struggled to manufacture as many opportunities when playing short-handed, pulling together just seven shots following Johnston’s ejection after putting up 11 prior to that.

The draw marks the first for Maryland this season, moving the Terps to 4-3-1 for the 2019 campaign. It also drops the team’s in-conference record to 0-1-1, good for seventh presently in the Big Ten standings. While Cirovski certainly can’t help but be happy to earn a result coming out this match, he’ll be looking to lead Maryland to their first Big Ten win of the season next Wednesday when they host Rutgers.

Three Things to Know

1. Eli Crognale is ... fine? Sasho Cirovski listed Crognale as day-to-day during this week’s training period leading up to the match, but the senior captain showed no signs of injury this match. He’d go in to play 108 of the 110 minutes in his return to the pitch, effectively executing his role in the match while showing little to no signs of pain. Although going point-less for the seventh consecutive game, Crognale’s efforts tonight is an impressive step in the in the right direction in regard to his health.

2. Niklas Neumann has won the starting keeper job, it would appear. After cycling back and forth between Neumann and freshman keeper Russell Shealy, Cirovski appears to be rolling with Neumann in net going forward. Neumann thoroughly out-played Shealy statistically this season, offering Cirovski a talented, young protégé to mold into his next great keeper.

3. It was another dominant performance for Maryland’s defense. Granted it was against a weaker opponent, Maryland’s defensive unit deserves credit for putting on another strong showing. This marks the fifth of Maryland’s first eight games that the Terps were able to shut-out an opponent, becoming more and more run of the mill for this unit with each one.