Maryland men’s soccer draws with Penn State 2-2 in double overtime thriller

( Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics.)

As Maryland held a 2-1 lead over Penn State, redshirt senior midfielder Pierre Reedy controlled the ball near the box and fired a shot into the bottom right corner of the net. That goal tied the game at 2 with four minutes remaining in the match, which went on to be the final score.

“To give up a goal that late is unacceptable, it’s something that we must improve, in closing out games,” head coach Sasho Cirovski said. 

Both Penn State and Maryland couldn’t break through overtime, and the match ended in a 2-2 tie, at Ludwig Field. 

“ This is the game we wanted three points,” Cirovski said. “We played well enough to get three, we didn’t get it. Of course you have to give Penn State credit fighting their way back into it and we’ll move on to Sunday.”

Maryland now has a 4-3-1 record, while Penn State has a 6-1-1 record. The Terps have won four out of five matches defeating Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, and tying Penn State. After Wednesday’s result the Terps have moved inside the top four in the Big Ten Conference. 

The start of the match could not have been any better for Maryland. Junior forward Justin Gielen sent a brilliant cross towards freshman midfielder Ben Bender in the Penn State box. Bender sent the ball towards the net, which deflected off the crossbar and gathered the rebound heading it into the back of the net. That goal marked his second of the season and gave Maryland a 1-0 lead.

“Once [Gielen] played that ball, I knew I was going to score,” Bender said. “Even though I had a bad touch, I had a feeling that once it went into the area, it was either going to hit off the crossbar or the keeper was going to bobble it and then I was going to pick it back up. But I had a really good feeling that I was going to score there and that was just awesome.” 

Early on Maryland found success with three shots on goal, three corner kicks and the first five shots of the contest. Penn State would get their chance to get right back into the match soon after.  

In the 20th minute, the Nittany Lions lobbed the ball into the Terps defensive end, as freshman midfielder/forward Peter Mangione took the ball and moved forward inside the Maryland box.  Mangione cut twice around the Terps defenders, then blasted a shot into the far-post past freshman Jamie Lowell to make it a 1-1 match. 

After a fast-paced and exciting first 20 minutes, the action the rest of the half slowed down dramatically. Neither side could muster off a shot at goal once the horn sounded to signal the end of the first half. 

Early in the second half Maryland had a golden chance to take the lead. Redshirt senior Paul Bin chased a loose bouncing ball near the top of the Penn State box and was taken down hard by a Nittany Lion defender. 

The referee blew his whistle and awarded the Terps a penalty kick in the 47th minute. Bin stepped up in the box and blasted a shot towards the right side of the net, but the shot was denied by Nittany Lion goalkeeper Kris Shakes keeping the score even at one. 

However, the miss didn’t discourage Bin. He constantly put unbearable pressure on the Nittany Lion backline with brilliant passes and runs attacking the net. In the 63rd minute, Bin was streaking down the left side when he was taken down hard by a Nittany Lion defender. Initially, no whistle was blown, but the referee discussed with an assistant and gave the Terps a penalty kick.  

Sophomore midfielder Malcolm Johnston was asked to take the penalty kick in a critical moment of the match and calmly stepped up and smashed the ball into the bottom-left corner of the net past sophomore Shakes putting Maryland on top 2-1. Johnston’s goal was a byproduct of Bin’s hard work on his attack.

“Paul [Bin] brings it every game,” Bender said. “His energy is so contagious, and he’s a workhorse, he puts 100% effort out there every game and that’s so important for us.”

Maryland was defending the rest of the match with their lead, as Penn State was trying hard to equalize. In the 86th minute, the Nittany Lions were able to break through the stout Maryland defense to tie the game at 2. 

The first overtime saw Penn State create chances with the seemingly tired Terps defense. Mangione was in a great opportunity as he was alone with Lowell in front of the net. Lowell charged out of the net and deflected the Mangione shot enough to keep Maryland alive. 

Neither side was able to break through in the first ten minutes of overtime. However, Mangione’s chance was the best, and Penn State seemed to have more opportunities. Maryland had a chance in overtime after Gielen delivered a brilliant cross but junior forward/midfielder Brayan Padilla’s shot was deflected away.

The horn sounded to signal the match’s end, which concluded in a 2-2 draw in what was a close contest throughout. 

“Obviously, we’re gutted to not get the victory out of that,” Gielen said. “I think we played well enough that we deserved it.”

Maryland heads on the road to finish off the regular season in Bloomington against the top team in the Big Ten Indiana (7-1-0) on Sunday, airing live on Big Ten Network.