The Michigan men’s soccer team faced a tall task in its first Big Ten opponent of the season: No. 8 Maryland.
While the Wolverines (3-3-1 overall, 0-1 Big Ten) played the Terrapins (5-1, 1-0) close, they were not up to the task, ultimately falling, 2-1.
The first half was largely dominated by Maryland. It was able to dictate the tempo of the game with its ability to move the ball up the field, get traffic in front of the net and create numerous scoring opportunities though it wasn’t able to capitalize.
The Terrapins’ best chance of the half came with ten minutes left on a mad scramble in front of the Wolverines’ net, but the defense was persistent. Junior defender Evan Rasmussen was key in getting the stop on the play.
The game remained scoreless heading into halftime with the Terrapins having a 6-to-3 shot advantage. Michigan hoped to limit their chances in the final 45 minutes.
But as the second half kicked off, the Wolverines were unable to stick to their gameplan. Maryland’s offense was even more ferocious in the second half, creating numerous opportunities and drawing penalty kicks.
Ten minutes into the second half, the Terrapins drew a foul, resulting in a penalty kick. Maryland midfielder Joshua Bolma buried a goal on a curve shot that just barely missed the gloves of freshman goaltender Hayden Evans.
The Terrapins kept riding their momentum and just nine minutes later, scored another goal. Maryland’s trio of midfielders worked a tic-tac-toe play which ended with Justin Harris scoring in front of the net. He broke through the Wolverines defenders and buried the goal to make it a 2-0 game.
Despite allowing two second-half goals, Evans finished the game with eight saves.
With the game winding down, Michigan was able to cut the game to one with a goal from senior forward Derick Broche. Broche scored off a nice pass from senior midfielder Kevin Buca which froze the Terrapin goaltender.
Despite the late push by the Wolverines, they ultimately came up short. The Terrapins finished the second half with ten shots, further elevating themselves from their first half performance. Michigan failed to keep up as it only tallied six shots compared to Maryland’s sixteen.
If the Wolverines want to stay competitive in the Big Ten, they will need to breakout offensively, after only scoring eight goals in the first seven games.
No players or coaches were available for comment.