No. 1 Maryland Men’s Soccer wins a thriller against Wisconsin

By: Justin Fitzgerald

Maryland men’s soccer (11-0-2, 6-0-1) kept their undefeated season alive Friday night with a 3-2 win over Wisconsin (7-3-2, 3-2-1).

After allowing their first goal in over five games in the second half, Wisconsin took the lead in the 67th minute. It looked like the Terps would be handed their first loss of the season, but Alex Crognale’s header tied it in the 87th minute.

Then in the 98th minute, Eryk Williamson put one past Wisconsin goalie Philipp Schilling to give Maryland a share of the Big Ten regular season title, their fourth in the past five years.

The goal came after head coach Sasho Cirovski took out Williamson in the second half.

“I was extremely proud that he was the guy who had the game winner,” Cirovski said of Williamson, “I challenged him and he responded.”

A Crognale header gave the Terps the early lead in the 12th minute. Williamson was pushed to the ground by Elan Koenig, setting up a free kick. Amar Sejdic curled the free kick to the right side, and the senior defender finished it with a header.

The Terps had chances to extend the lead, but couldn’t score. In the 16th minute, Sebastian Elney received a pass from Chris Odoi-Atsem but put a shot high. Then in the 32nd minute, Gordon Wild sent a pass in to DJ Reeves, who put it wide.

After Maryland controlled possession for the first 30 minutes, Wisconsin started to get chances of their own. Mike Catalano had all three shots for the Badgers, but they were all saved by Niedermeier.

The Badgers continued to push in the second half, and Sam Brotherton tapped in a free kick in the 64th minute to tie the game. The goal ended Maryland’s shutout streak, which lasted 529 minutes and 21 seconds.

After going over five games between goals allowed, the Terps gave up another goal three minutes later, when Mark Segbers scored in the 67th minute.

Christopher Mueller drew Niedermeier to the left side of the goal, leaving Segbers wide open to finish it off.

“When you give a team some hope and they come out in the second half with a little bit of energy, they start to believe,” Cirovski said. “We didn’t have the knockout punch in the second half.”

The Terps controlled possession after Wisconsin took the lead, but couldn’t tie it up. Wild had a rocket saved in the 76th minute, and they failed to convert two corners in the 82th minute.

That changed on a corner kick with 2:18 remaining. Sejdic floated it into the box where it was headed by Odoi-Atsem, and then Crognale headed it in to the back of the net to tie the game. It was Crognale’s second goal of the game, and the first multi-goal game of his career.

“I knew we were in a tough spot,” Crognale said. “I think everyone was pretty anxious, luckily the ball was able to find my head in a pretty easy position to score.”

The Badgers had a chance to win it in the 92nd minute, when Segbers intercepted a bad pass from Maryland. He passed it to Mueller, who pushed the ball up field before having it kicked away.

The Terps responded with a chance in the 94th minute, but Elney put a header wide. Then in the 98th minute, Cody Albrecht sent in a pass to Williamson, who bounced it off one defender before getting it back and firing it into the back of the net to give Maryland the win.

The Terps will look for their ninth straight win Tuesday night, when they take on American University at Ludwig Field.

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