By: Brittney Bridges
The Maryland Terrapins (7-5-3, 4-3-0 Big Ten) improved their record with an overtime win at home as they hosted the Penn State Nittany Lions (5-8-2, 2-3-2 Big Ten). This matchup served as the the last home game for the Terrapins in the regular season.
“This is the most satisfying victory of the year. It had a little bit of everything.” Coach Sasho Cirovski stated. “We had a really good start, we were challenged by a couple of great goals and a very good Penn State team. We pushed for the win.”
Both Maryland and Penn State struggled early in the year but have since redeemed themselves in the latter part of the season. The Nittany Lions just came off of a loss to James Madison after being on a three-game win streak and have also taken prior losses to Indiana and Michigan State.
Maryland was coming off a two-game win streak after putting on impressive performances against Denver and Ohio State. Both Penn State and Maryland are neck-and-neck when it comes to rankings in the Big Ten, with Maryland coming in at fifth place and Penn State trailing at sixth.
Maryland remained dominant for the majority of the first half, despite some redundant and sloppy play throughout. The high press that the Terps implemented a few minutes into the game caused the Nittany Lions some problems when it came to clearing the ball out of the backfield. The Terrapins got some small chances to make something happen but came away empty.
Their effort finally paid off with 19 minutes left in the half when a high pass by Chase Gasper landed inside the box and was headed up by Sebastian Elney to get further into the penalty area. A Penn State defender tried to clear it but completely missed the ball causing Nittany Lion defender Brennan Ireland to kick the ball out only for it to bounce off his teammate who was right in front of him. The ball landed right near Maryland’s Vinicius Lansade who quickly turned and made a strong left-footed kick to the opposite side of the goal.
“It was a sloppy, sloppy play.” said the freshman Lansade about the first goal of his college career.
“As soon as I touched the ball, I knew it was going to go in.” Lansade continued. “I was too close to the net.”
The rest of the half was pretty uneventful until senior Amar Sejdic scored his fifth goal of the season. With one minute and 12 seconds left, Justin Gielen made a sliding challenge on a Penn State player, with Andrew Samuels receiving the rebound who fed it immediately to Sejdic. Sejdic sent a left-footed strike just pass Penn State’s goalkeeper Josh Levine to put the Terps up 2-0.
The Terrapins looked to finish the half in relatively dominant fashion up until about ten seconds on the clock. The Nittany Lions got a free kick outside the box, in which Dayne St. Clair made an impressive, diving save but that led to a Penn State corner.
The corner was headed out by the Maryland defense but ended up being recovered by Penn State’s junior midfielder Aaron Molloy, who sent a long bullet of a ball to the corner of the goal as time expired.
The second half saw pressure put on the Terrapins to keep or extend the lead. But things took a turn when Gasper left the game after calling for a sub in the 20th minute. Though he didn’t limp off, he would head to the trainer’s table and then to the sidelines with ice on his leg. He wouldn’t return for the rest of the night.
Gasper’s absence on defense was felt, as Penn State received more opportunities as time on the clock wound down. The Nittany Lions tied the game 2-2 when a seemingly dead play with seven minutes left turned into something, as redshirt junior Noah Pilato sent a volley from over 20 yards away, which flew past St. Clair. The game would head into overtime for the Terps sixth overtime game of the season.
The first round of overtime consisted of chances for both the Terrapins and the Nittany Lions, including a dagger at the top of the arc by Sejdic that caused Levine to make a great leaping save. Neither team could finish which led to another overtime session.
It was in the 106th minute when Paul Bin, who had subbed in after Penn State scored their second goal, put an end to it. Elney dribbled up the near side and passed the ball in to Bin at the top of the box, who then split two defenders and made a strike to the left side of the goal sending Ludwig up in arms. Bin was immediately tackled by teammate Eli Crognale.
“I told [Coach Cirovski] beforehand that I felt pretty good going into the game and thought I could maybe do something for the team.” Bin said when asked about his game-winning goal.
Bin was sidelined for a couple of games due to a right ankle injury, but stated that he has been getting treatment and that it feels back to normal.
“Paul was not going to play.” Cirovski said. “We needed him and he came through in a big way.”
It was an ideal way to finish the eratic night. The Terrapins look ahead to their last regular season game this Sunday, when they travel to Ann Arbor to take on the Michigan Wolverines at 4:00 p.m and try to extend their winning streak.