Stefan Copetti stared at the eyes of Penn State goalkeeper Kris Shakes with the ball at his feet.
He received a deft touch pass from Max Riley and quickly raced past the Penn State back line towards the goal. The forward had the whole goal at his mercy with Maryland one strike away from leveling the score.
But instead of picking out a corner of the net, Copetti placed his shot directly down the middle at Shakes, who palmed away the shot, a missed chance.
Missed chances like those and a defensive miscue from Mikah Seger plagued the Terps as Maryland lost to Penn State, 1-0.
Seger misplaced a pass in the 39th minute and Penn State launched its counterattack. Peter Mangione found the ball in the box before putting a powerful strike past Seger to give the Nittany Lions a 1-0 lead.
“If you look at the mistake we made late in the first half, just a simple giveaway, leads to a goal,” coach Sasho Cirovski said.
That marked Penn State’s only shot on target in the first half but it still entered halftime with a lead.
Maryland (1-3-2, 0-1-1 Big Ten) dominated possession in the opening stages of the game, winning two corners in the opening 15 minutes.
Penn State (4-1-2, 2-0-0) cleared the first corner, but the second corner amounted to Maryland’s first chance. The Nittany Lions nullified the Terps set piece but Maryland recycled the ball into the attacking third. Luca Costabile got the ball with space at the top of the box Penn State goalkeeper Kris Shakes made the save to deny him.
Penn State had two corners in the 19th minute but didn’t get shots on either.
Mack DeVries, starting his first game of the year for the suspended William Kulvik, created the best chance of the first half for the Terps. Freshman defender Joe McDaid made his first career start as well.
“Mack and Joe came in, they looked like they had been playing for the whole season,” Riley said.
DeVries lofted a ball up to Stefan Copetti, who made a darting run toward the endline. Copetti controlled the ball down to the ground and picked out Max Riley at the back post. Riley could have hit a first-time volley but instead opted to take a touch and then shoot.
The choice backfired, the extra time gave Penn State time to block and clear the shot to end the Maryland attack.
Copetti got a strong chance early in the second half. He received a deft touch pass from Riley and sprinted in on goal one-on-one with Shakes. But the forward shot right down the middle of the goal instead of placing his strike into a corner, making it easy for the keeper to palm the chance away.
Mangione almost notched his second of the game in the opening minutes of the second half. Matthew Henderson put a low cross into the box to pick out the senior forward. Mangione shot low toward the corner, but his effort was blocked.
As Maryland pressed forward in search of an equalizer, it looked to the wide areas of the pitch.
Kento Abe floated a throw-in into the box as the half continued which led to a corner after a deflected shot. But like all of Maryland’s set pieces in the match, the Terps were unable to generate a good enough opportunity for the equalizing goal.
Maryland got yet another chance with just six seconds left.
Riley launched a long-range effort towards goal but it rose just too high as the Terps couldn’t secure a draw.
“Very frustrating result,” Cirovski said. “Once again I thought we played quite well, we were in control … and we made one costly error.”