Maryland soccer falls behind early, battles back to draw with Wisconsin

Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

With momentum shifting in Wisconsin’s favor after taking a 2-1 lead in the 56th minute, Maryland needed someone to make a play, and Joshua Bolma was there. Bolma took a touch inside the box and slotted his shot into the bottom left corner to level the score.

The No. 7 Terps battled to a 2-2 draw against a gritty Wisconsin team.

Following a disappointing tie against Northwestern on Sunday, Maryland looked to regain momentum and continue its eight-game unbeaten streak against a Badgers team ahead of only Northwestern in the Big Ten standings.

The Terps looked to avoid yet another slow start, but Wisconsin’s Drew Brown opened up the scoring in the 12th minute for the Badgers, who are in the midst of a down season under first-year Head Coach Neil Jones. 

After conceding the opener, Maryland began to put the pressure on with quality chances for Stefan Copetti off passes from Bolma and Hunter George, but the forward couldn’t find the back of the net to get things back to even. 

The Terps put seven shots on target in the first half and had 63% possession but couldn’t capitalize on their chances. Carter Abbott was stellar for the Badgers, making seven saves in the opening frame. (eight total). 

“We had a lot of chances… sometimes you just get unlucky,” said Bolma. “We were for sure the better side on the attacking side.”

Going into the dressing room, Maryland found themselves in a 1-0 hole with one half to play. 

Head Coach Sasho Cirovski’s squad came out firing to open up the second half, with Copetti finding the back of the net. 

The junior transfer came up big in his second start of the season, collecting a pass from Bolma inside the box and striking it into the upper half of the net, tying the game.​​

The Badgers found another score, this time in the 56th minute, as Aron Saevarrson one-timed a pass from Jack Finnegan inside the box to put Wisconsin back in front.

But that lead didn’t last for long. Five minutes later, Bolma fired a ball into the bottom left corner as well, from the same spot at Saevarrson’s finish. 

“That was the best performance Josh has had all year,” said Cirovski. “I think you can see he’s starting to get his body back and his legs back.”

With 29 minutes to play, the two sides were squared at two. 

As emotions picked up and the atmosphere at Ludwig Field intensified, both sides were hoping for a hero, but neither could piece together the finisher, and the game ended as a 2-2 draw. 

“I was very proud of the effort,” said Cirovski. “I thought we were crisp, I thought we were sharp, I thought we worked hard.”

Maryland continues its unbeaten streak but fails to gain all three points, while the Badgers have lots to be happy about on the way home to Madison. 

The Terps will look to get back in the win column after two-straight ties against High Point on Monday night. 

“That was probably one of our better performances in recent games,” said Copetti. “Obviously, a little gutted to come out with a tie, but we got a quick turnaround, High Point on Monday, so we are looking forward to that game already.”