Defensive mistakes have plagued Maryland men’s soccer all season long. Crucial gaffes prevented the Terps from collecting wins and draws all season long. Miscues reared their ugly head again on Sunday.
Ohio State launched a ball into the attacking third. Maryland goalie Saxon Wolcott, making his first career Big Ten start, rushed out of his box and misplayed the ball. Buckeye midfielder Michael Adedokun cashed in.
Adedokun’s tally into an empty net was the first of three second-half Ohio State goals that sank Maryland Sunday afternoon, 4-1.
The Terps went winless in the Big Ten, collecting just two points from eight games. Coach Sasho Cirovski’s squad finished the regular season below the .500 mark for the first time since 1993.
Maryland (4-8-3, 0-6-2 Big Ten) entered the contest knowing its season would end with the game’s final whistle. The Terps couldn’t qualify for the Big Ten tournament, and will end its streak of 22-straight NCAA tournament appearances in the process.
Even with nothing to play for, Maryland began the match in the attacking third.
Luke van Heukelum drifted into open space inside the box in the opening 15 minutes. Kimani Stewart-Baynes received a pass inside the penalty area as van Heukelum ran toward goal.
The freshman forward pair combined. Stewart-Baynes picked out a darting van Heukelum, who connected with the ball and sent a shot flying toward goal. But the effort was off frame.
Later in the half, the Terps found the breakthrough.
Leon Koehl swung in a corner into the center of the penalty box. Multiple Terps and Buckeyes jumped to win a header, but no one made solid contact with the set piece. The ball bounced around inside the box as multiple Maryland players stuck a foot in to send an attempt on goal.
Bjarne Theisen got a vital touch.
The senior center back had the ball fall at his feet following a save by Ohio State goalie Max Trejo. Trejo spilled the shot, and Theisen tapped into an empty net to open the scoring.
The Buckeyes then upped the pressure in the 40th minute.
Trejo made a save for Ohio State (5-6-5, 3-4-1 Big Ten) and quickly punted the ball forward to spring a counter attack. Maryland goalie Saxon Wolcott rushed off of his line and prevented Tanner Creech, who attempted to shoot the ball, from finding an angle to score. The Maryland goalie made the save, keeping the Terps in the lead.
But four minutes later, Ohio State had its equalizer.
The Buckeyes sent a cross into the box. Thiesen won the initial header, but failed to clear the ball and instead flicked it towards goal right into the path of Andre Roberts. Roberts calmly headed a shot past an outrushing Wolcott, leveling the score at 1-1, 90 seconds before the end of the first half.
Maryland chased a game-tying goal after Adedukun’s score gave Ohio State the lead in the 58th minute. Connor DesRoches doubled the Buckeyes’ advantage 15 minutes later.
The defender gained possession after two Maryland players ran into each other in the middle of the field. DesRoches turned and fired a shot from outside the box. His effort curled past Wolcott to make it 3-1.
And the Buckeyes weren’t done scoring.
Roberts won a header in the middle of the field from an Ohio State goal kick. He nodded the ball down to Parker Grinstead, who accelerated toward goal. The midfielder scored the Buckeyes’ second goal in less than two minutes from outside the box to give the Buckeyes a three-goal lead.
Maryland’s second half collapse sees it go winless in the Big Ten for the first time in program history.