After it took overtime for Maryland men’s soccer to beat Northwestern last week — a game the Terps held a 20-4 shot advantage — midfielder Amar Sejdic said he wished his team would bury opponents earlier.
When forward Paul Bin struck in the 7th minute Friday night at Ludwig Field, it seemed it was the step in the right direction. It was Maryland’s first shot of the game, and it gave the Terps an early lead against Wisconsin in their Big Ten home opener.
Maryland was unable to capitalize on its early advantage, though, as the Badgers scored in the 90th minute to force overtime. The Terps first successful start went brutally squandered, as the Badgers struck again in the 107th minute for the 2-1 win in double overtime.
“We dominated the entire first half, and we only came away with one goal,” coach Sasho Cirovski said. “The second half, we certainly had our chances. They played a little more direct soccer and started fighting for second balls, getting some set pieces, but we were in total control of the game.”
But the Terps couldn’t put away their opponent despite dictating the pace of the game.
With under a minute remaining in regulation, defender Donovan Pines’ clearance ricocheted to forward Andrew Akindele, whose pass to Michael Russell set the Badgers midfielder up with a 1-on-1 with Maryland goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair. The redshirt junior netminder saved Russell’s initial attempt, but the rebound left the goal open for the equalizing strike.
St. Clair made an acrobatic save on a free kick in the 107th minute, but for the second time of the night, a rebound doomed the Terps. Defender Zach Klancnik deflected the ball into the side of the net to give Wisconsin a come-from-behind win.
“I never felt like we were in any real danger,” Cirovski said. “It was one moment there where they won a ball in our half and tied it up. Then, I still think in overtime we had chances, but we played into their hands.”
The pair of late goals tarnished what was Maryland best start of the season after going scoreless — and winless — in its first four games.
Even though the Terps scored three times total in back-to-back victories entering Friday, all of their goals came deep into the second half. Maryland scored in the 77th minute to beat West Virginia in its first win of the season before scoring two goals after the 84th minute to down Northwestern last weekend.
Midfielder William James Herve, last week’s Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week, got separation from his defender on the touchline and sharply passed into the middle of the box early in Friday’s match. Bin, left unmarked, one-timed the ball into the back of the net for his first goal as a Terp.
“I thought Paul was our most dangerous attacking player,” Cirovski said. “We’ve been struggling to get danger from our forwards. I thought he came in today and was a bright spot.”
Until Bin’s strike, Maryland hadn’t scored in the first half in its previous seven games dating back to last season.
The Terps couldn’t extend their lead, though, letting the Badgers hang around. Maryland held a 9-5 shot advantage in regulation, with Wisconsin not registering its first shot until the 52nd minute.
Wisconsin adjusted mid-game, adding another forward in the second half to increase its offensive pressure. Maryland didn’t adapt well, conceding more chances as time dwindled. The backline finally cracked in the final minute of regulation.
With 53 seconds left, the Badgers stole the Terps’ potential third consecutive win from them. And then in overtime, they stole the draw, as well.
“It’s a really bitter feeling … knowing you deserved better out of this game,” Cirovski said. “We didn’t do what we needed to do to close out this game.”