By Christopher Rogers-Spatuzzi
Mikey Ambrose’s corner kick sailed into the air toward the cluster of players in the goal box. Midfielder Dan Metzger jumped up and cleanly headed it past the diving Wisconsin goalie to give the Terrapins a 2-0 lead. Maryland went on to dominate for the rest of the game, leading the team to its first Big Ten Conference victory on Friday night at home.
“It’s very important [to get that first conference win],” Maryland head coach Sasho Cirovski said. “You want to get that first win early. You want to get that under your belt and move onto the next one.”
After managing just one goal, off a penalty kick, in their past three home games, Maryland scored two goals in less than ten minutes on Friday.
The first half of the game was very reminiscent of previous games. The Terrapins retained possession for most of the half, but despite six shots on goal, they were not able to score.
In the second half, however, the team finally broke out, first scoring on a right foot strike from midfielder Michael Sauers with 37:24 left in the half. It was Sauers’ second goal of the year, his first coming against Coastal Carolina on September 1. This effectively ended the Terrapins’ scoring drought.
“We know we can score, we just needed to apply it in the game, and I think we did well tonight,” Sauers said.
Six minutes later, Metzger’s goal extended their lead, and they continued to dominate the Badgers for the remainder of the game.
Wisconsin only took one shot on goal in the whole second half, compared to Maryland’s eight. Terrapin goalie Zack Steffen didn’t have to save any shots.
“We’re continuing to get better defensively,” Cirovski said. “I think we held off a team with some very good attacking players to minimal opportunities.”
After this win, the team improved to 3-3-2 on the year, and 1-1-1 within the Big Ten.
The Terps return to Ludwig Field on Tuesday, September 30, to take on the Georgetown Hoyas.