Maryland men’s soccer opens Big Ten play with scoreless draw against Indiana

Maryland men's soccer

By: Shourjya Mookerjee

The Maryland men’s soccer team played its first regular season draw in close to a year, tying No. 4 Indiana, 0-0. The Terps, who went the entire 2016 season undefeated, only drew twice, including their Big Ten game against Indiana last September.

The Terps failed to register a shot on goal in both regulation and the two overtime periods. Indiana, on the other hand, looked sharper. The Hoosiers got off 14 shots, including six shots on goal.

The first half belonged to Indiana. The Hoosiers led 5-2 on shots, including three on goal. Maryland was unable to force a save off Indiana goalkeeper Trey Muse in the first 45 minutes, as both of Gordon Wild’s shots sailed over the crossbar.

Maryland looked sloppy in possession for most of the first half, as the Hoosiers pressure was oftentimes too much to handle. Only in the waning moments did the Terps really look like they had control of the ball.

“It was a disappointing effort by our team tonight. We were the second best team on the field,” Maryland head coach Sasho Cirovski said. “Indiana, defensively, was outstanding.”

Conference games in college are often known for their physical nature, and this one surely lived up to the standard. A total of 17 fouls were committed in the first half alone. Junior midfielder Eryk Williamson was issued the first yellow card of the game in the 15th minute, as his aggressive play drew some questionable calls. The match finished with 27 fouls.

Defender George Campbell, who has been stellar at right-back so far this season, was constantly exploited by Indiana early on. The senior found himself out of position on a couple counter-attacks, most notably in the 9th minute, when his man roamed completely free on the left flank before sending in a dangerous cross.

In the second half and overtime periods, however, Campbell roared back to defy critics and made some crucial tackles in transition.

Sophomore central-defensive midfielder Andrew Samuels, who was listed as inactive against Cal Poly, was back in the lineup Friday after he sat out the previous game with an eye injury.

Canadian goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair made two very big saves in the first overtime period, which staved off Indiana’s relentless attack. Donovan Pines, the 6-foot-5 center-back, was an absolute revelation in defense. The sophomore looked like he was made for this game. He, along with St. Clair, almost single-handedly kept Maryland in the game during Indiana’s strong spells.

“[Pines] is bigger than me,” St. Clair said. “Sometimes, when I come up with my hands, he’s above me. So I think having him free and knowing that if I can’t get to the ball, there’s a good chance he wins it, is very heartwarming for the whole team.”

Gordon Wild, Maryland’s top goal-scorer, had a frustrating game. Despite getting off four shots, all of his efforts sailed high. The German’s biggest miss came later in regulation, when he was unable to redirect the ball towards goal on a free, unmarked header.

The Terps cap off their five-game homestand against Rutgers on Tuesday. The match is set to kick off at 8 p.m.

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