Danny Lokko fought through multiple Maryland defenders as the Terps struggled to clear the ball.
The forward curled a half-cleared ball over Niklas Neumann with just six minutes left to give Cornell it wouldn’t surrender. Lokko added another finish three minutes later before Albi Ndrenika notched a goal, but it would only be consolation for the Terps.
Lokko’s late brace ended the Terps’ season as Maryland men’s soccer fell to No. 14-seed Cornell in the second round of the NCAA tournament Sunday, 2-1.
The Terps failed to advance past the second round of the national tournament once again, extending their streak of early tournament exits that started has plagued the program since its national championship win in 2018.
Maryland lost its first away game of the year to end its season after previously holding a record of 3-0-2 on the road.
[Maryland men’s soccer coasts to NCAA tournament first round win over Fairleigh Dickinson, 5-2]
The Big Red controlled the game early and notched the first four shots of the match. They almost took the lead in the 17th minute when Brandon Morales flicked a low cross toward the top corner, but Niklas Neumann leapt to his right and clawed the ball away from goal to maintain the deadlock.
Neumann came up big for the Terps again late in the half, denying a pair of back-to-back Cornell strikes. He parried a low Morales shot from distance away before deflecting a Connor Drought shot follow up away from goal, once again keeping the Big Red out.
The Terps slowly grew into the match and created their first chance in the 33rd minute. A Max Riley header from a cross was directed toward the bottom corner, but Cornell goalkeeper Ryan Friedberg was able to corral the freshman’s attempt.
The attempt was Maryland’s only shot in the first half and Neumann’s four saves in the opening period kept the score 0-0 at halftime. The goalkeeper didn’t notch a save in the second half.
[Luca Costabile nearly didn’t join Maryland men’s soccer. He’s now one of its key cogs.]
Ndrenika almost took advantage of Neumann’s stops to give the Terps the lead in the 68th minute. Nick Richardson won the ball in Maryland’s attacking third and wriggled past multiple defenders before delivering a low cross into the middle of the box.
Ndrenika met Richardson’s delivery but his shot took a deflection and was saved by Freidberg. The freshman logged his season-high in minutes and almost broke through again in the 81st minute, but his shot from outside the box was awkwardly parried away by the opposing goalkeeper.
When he finally did find the back of the net and score his second career goal, it was too late.
Although the Terps looked to be the team more likely to notch the opening goal throughout the second half, Lokko’s goal gave the Big Red an advantage they wouldn’t surrender that sent them through to the third round of the NCAA tournament.
Neumann’s early-game heroics kept Maryland in the game, but a late collapse saw the Big Ten regular season champions fall in the second round.