Indiana junior Samuel Sarver looked up as the ball was lofted toward him. Sarver received the pass from teammate Karsen Henderlong behind the Maryland back line. Sarver made one move left and shot with his left foot. The shot ricocheted off the left of the net, giving Indiana a lead with seven minutes remaining in the game.
Maryland Men’s Soccer couldn’t come up with an equalizer in the final minutes losing to Indiana, 2-1, Friday night at Ludwig Field.
“At the end of the day, we just didn’t make the plays in either box that needed to be made today,” said head coach Sasho Cirovski. “Unfortunately, it’s a repetitive story for this team and it’s very frustrating.”
Indiana was the first to strike in the second half scoring a goal in the 54th minute. Indiana forward Alex Barger headed in the first goal of the game off a long throw-in that was headed to Barger. Patrick McDonald and Jansen Miller were the two with the assists.
“You don’t always win the first ball but you got to win the second ball and we let the young man just attack the ball almost untouched, unpressured and you can’t do that,” said Cirovski.
The Terps responded tying the game in the 69th minute. Luke van Heukelum received the ball in the Terps’ defending third. The freshman forward ran the ball all the way into Maryland’s attacking third. Van Heukelum passed to Brian St. Martin and he quickly fired into the box, where Stefan Copetti tapped it in, tying the game.
“We won the ball at the top of our 18 and I saw kind of the play progressing and in my mind, I said I’m gonna score this goal,” said Copetti.
The teams struggled to get their footing in the first half, both literally and figuratively. The pitch was slippery due to light rain that occurred throughout the first 45 minutes. Players struggled at the start, but slowly adjusted as the half went on.
Only three shots were attempted in the half with each team putting one on target. Indiana Sophomore Jack Wagoner was the first player to put a shot on goal in the 11th minute. Maryland forward, Max Riley, recorded the second in the 39th minute. Both shots went to the bottom right of the net and both were saved by the opposing goalkeeper.
The loss means that Maryland continues to sit at the bottom of the conference standings with just two points. The Terps have one more conference matchup before the end of the season against Ohio State who is just above them with four points. Ohio State plays Michigan State before its meeting with Maryland, and a win by the Buckeyes will eliminate Maryland from conference tournament contention before they meet next Sunday.
“We have quality, but you got to put it on display and you got to put it on display with more consistency and that’s what we’re lacking right now” said Alex Nitzl. “