Story by Tom Hindle
It was almost a frustrating night in Evanston, Illinois for Maryland. With the wind blowing in off Lake Superior, the Terps were almost left to rue scoring opportunities. However, they were able to recover, as a brace from midfielder William James Herve carried the Terrapins to a scrappy 2-1 overtime win.
Herve’s game winner came in the 94th minute, when the Frenchman found space on the edge of the box and fired a shot that snuck through the Northwestern goalkeeper’s legs. He’d already played savior in regulation, forcing overtime with a toe poke in the 83rd minute. It was his second collegiate start.
It seemed primed to be a familiar story from the outset for Maryland, as they created numerous clear chances without finding the back of the net. The Terps often looked for the dangerous junior winger Paul Bin on the right, but were unable to use the South Korean’s pace in the opening exchanges. That changed in the 12th minute, as Bin found sophomore forward Eric Matzelvich on a lofted through ball. He was unable to convert.
Maryland enjoyed significant sustained pressure, creating pockets of space for the creative senior midfielder Amar Sedjic. However, the Northwestern defense was equal to every Maryland attack.
The Terps’ best chance of the opening period came in the 17th minute. Matzelevich rounded the keeper, but saw his shot narrowly miss the far post from a near-impossible angle. Still, the Terps pushed on.
The 25th-minute return of senior forward Sebastian Elney, who had been sidelined for two games with an ankle injury, ignited the Terrapin attack. His movement and pressing created more space for Sejdic and Matzelevich. Both had shots blocked in the latter stages of the opening period.
On the other end, redshirt junior goalkeeper Dayne St. Claire had a quiet first half. Northwestern’s long passes were often cleaned up by junior centerback Donovan Pines. The home side didn’t manage a shot, and the two teams went into the break tied 0-0.
Coach Sasho Cirovski sent out Elney to start the second half, and his impact was felt immediately. Elney’s run left Sejdic open from six yards out, but he couldn’t wrap his foot around a driven cross in the 46th minute.
Northwestern also came out with a more attacking mindset. The introduction of sophomore midfielder Tommy Katsiyiannis made life difficult for the Terrapin back four, and St. Claire was called into action numerous times in the early goings of the second half. The Wildcats would go on to take advantage of their sustained pressure, as senior midfielder Camden Buescher struck a volley into the bottom left corner for a 1-0 lead.
The Terrapin response was aggressive. Sejdic directed a high press, forcing turnovers that led to sustained Maryland pressure in the final third. Elney and Bin both had chances in the ensuing minutes, but the night belonged to Herve. He tracked a loose ball into the box unmarked, and slotted past the keeper for a vital equalizer. With the score tied at one, both teams seemed happy to play for the extra minutes.
The Terps dominated overtime. Aided by fresh legs and a very defensive Northwestern lineup, Maryland attacked with numbers from the outset. Herve’s second was the yield of a renewed side playing a tired one. Helped by a goalkeeping mishap, Herve’s shot trickled across the line and the freshman was mobbed by his teammates in the far corner of the pitch. For the Terps, the nature of the goal didn’t matter. They secured a vital Big Ten win.
The Terps will hope to make it three in a row Monday at 7 P.M. when they host William and Mary.