Kimani Stewart-Baynes fell to the pitch on all fours inside the box as Rutgers prepared for a goal kick.
The forward had just missed a penalty kick — a golden opportunity for Maryland men’s soccer to tie the game at two. The Terps didn’t produce a better chance against the Scarlet Knights the rest of the match, and lost their fourth game in a row on Tuesday night.
Stewart-Baynes enters a steadily growing list of Maryland players to miss from the spot this season. The Terps missed four penalty kicks, squandered opportunities that prevented them from seeing results against tough non-conference opposition and denied them valuable points in conference play.
Maryland currently sits at the bottom of the Big Ten.
“Once again, we missed an opportunity on a penalty kick to put ourselves in a better position to win,” coach Sasho Cirovski said after the Rutgers loss. “I’m a little speechless.”
Stefan Copetti was the first to etch his name onto the missed penalty kick list.
Maryland and then-No. 16 Wake Forest played the opening 70 minutes of the match without scoring a goal. Then the Terps earned a penalty following a foul on Kento Abe in the box.
Copetti placed the ball down on the spot, 12 yards away from breaking the deadlock, but Wake Forest goalie Trace Alphin dove to his right to save the shot. Maryland settled for a 0-0 draw, a missed chance to notch a win against a top-20 team.
Luke van Heukelum followed suit one game later.
Maryland trailed behind Virginia 2-1 in the second half. The freshman forward stepped up instead of Copetti, attempting to draw the Terps level.
Van Heukelum placed his shot at a comfortable height for Cavaliers keeper Holden Brown, who stretched to his right and palmed the penalty away.
The second missed penalty of the season cost the Terps another positive result. They fell 2-1 to their old ACC rivals.
“We can’t afford to keep missing penalty kicks,” Cirovski said after the loss. “We could’ve gotten a win against Wake [Forest] … and maybe get a tie here [with the] penalty kick goal. We’ve really hurt ourselves from that standpoint.”
Cirovski said prior to Big Ten matches that converting on penalties would make him and his team feel better about their early-season performance.
But when conference play began, Maryland’s penalty kick misfortune continued as Max Riley became third to fail from the spot when Maryland received a first-half penalty against Wisconsin.
Riley placed his shot well over the crossbar and out of play. Wisconsin handed Maryland its second conference loss of the season, scoring the winning goal in the second half.
“I’m not sure I’ve seen Max ever put it over the bar,” Cirovski said. “Unfortunately, in that moment today, he missed the opportunity.”
Cirovski and Copetti both voiced frustrations about missing chances from open play and penalties. The senior forward said he and his teammates must “file it” after a scoring chance goes awry, a persistent problem for the Terps’ attack.
If Riley and Stewart-Baynes had converted their penalties against Wisconsin and Rutgers to earn a draw in both contests, Maryland would be among the top eight in the conference with three points. The Terps will need to finish in eighth place or better to qualify for the Big Ten tournament and extend their season.
Instead, they have a lone point and look up at the rest of the conference.
“We gotta start winning some games, so we can at least even get into the Big Ten tournament,” Cirovski said.