Wisconsin defender Birgir Baldvinsson possessed just enough space to place a dangerous ball into the box.
Maryland men’s soccer’s Jamie Lowell jumped in the air to catch the ball after Wisconsin deflected it. The Terps keeper got two hands on the ball — but as he fell to the ground, the ball squirted from his grasp and spilled into the box.
Markie Hrvojevic was all too happy to convert. The Badgers forward tapped the ball over the line with the empty net at his mercy. The close-range effort was the difference Sunday as Maryland lost to Wisconsin, 1-0, in Madison.
Lowell was carted off the field after conceding the goal and did not return for the remainder of the match. Coach Sasho Cirovski didn’t have an update and said the goalkeeper will be evaluated by team doctors on Monday.
The Terps have now lost two of their first three Big Ten matches, putting them in an unfamiliar spot near the bottom of the conference. Maryland is on a five-game winless streak; its last victory came on Aug. 27.
“Once again, a very frustrating result,” Cirovski said. “Another case of a missed opportunity on the penalty kick and a costly error at the back that cost us the three points.”
Stefan Copetti mustered the only shot in the opening 15 minutes, but his attempt was deflected and cleared easily by Wisconsin (4-2-3, 1-0-2).
Undeterred, Copetti created more dangerous opportunities minutes later.
The forward drove through the midfield, passing defenders as he dribbled the ball into the box. He continued towards the endline, making a move to create space as a defender closed on him. As he danced in the box, Badgers’ midfielder Tim Bielic stuck in a challenge and made contact with Copetti.
The foul in the area awarded the Terps a penalty kick, handing Maryland (1-4-2, 0-2-1) its first big opportunity of the match.
Maryland had previously not converted a penalty. The task of ending that drought came to Max Riley. He shot high — too high — over the crossbar and out. The Terps’ third missed penalty of the season kept the game scoreless.
“We did a lot of things well … during the first half to create the penalty and put some pressure on them,” coach Sasho Cirovski said, “but unfortunately, we didn’t take advantage of that opportunity.”
Copetti again created chances late in the half. He and Kimani Stewart-Baynes raced through the midfield into the attacking third. Instead of passing to Stewart-Baynes, Copetti took a shot that was blocked by the Wisconsin back line. He finished with a team-high two shots.
Neither the Terps nor the Badgers placed a shot on target in the evenly contested first 45 minutes.
Wisconsin notched the first shot on target for either side during a strong start to the second half.
The Badgers lofted a high-arching cross into the box from just outside the area. Badgers’ forward Mitchell Dryden snuck in behind the flat-footed Maryland defenders.
Dryden directed a header low and to Lowell’s left. The Terps’ keeper dove and got both hands onto the ball to make a comfortable save.
Maryland, still in search of its first shot on target in the game, got a key offensive opportunity with just over 20 minutes remaining.
The Terps’ fullbacks began playing numerous through balls down the line to wingers. As Maryland exploited the wider areas of the attacking third, it won its first corner of the match,
Stewart-Baynes swung in an inswinging cross into the box, but no Terp rose highest to win a header as Wisconsin dealt with the set piece.
Maryland, chasing a game-tying goal after Baldvinsson’s score, continued to pressure the Wisconsin back line with crosses into the box. But the Badgers sent each away, denying the Terps an equalizer.