The Maryland men’s soccer team finds itself on a three-game winning streak after defeating Penn State 3-2 in double overtime, following a two-goal comeback from the Nittany Lions (5-8-2, 2-3-2) in the Terps’ (7-5-3, 4-3) final home match of the season.
“We came into the overtime wanting to win this game, and I thought that we composed ourselves from the first second of overtime all the way through,” head coach Sasho Cirovski said. “We were the deserving winner of this game. This is the most satisfying victory of the year.”
Junior attacker Paul Bin, who came into the game in the 83rd minute after sitting out with an ankle injury, scored the game-winning goal in the second overtime period with a right-footed strike to the bottom near post.
“I’ve been injured for the past few games, and it was great of the coach to give me the chance to change the game,” Bin said. “Coming off the bench, playing only 10 to 15 minutes, and being able to score the game-winner is surreal.”
Freshman forward Vinicius Lansade scored his first-career goal in the 27th minute for the Terps’ first goal of the match, scoring from inside the box after a scramble in the box for possession.
“It was a sloppy, sloppy play,” Lansade said. “As soon as I touched the ball, I knew it was going to go in. I was too close to the net.”
The Terps’ lead extended to 2-0 in the 44th minute after senior midfielder Amar Sejdic scored his third goal in the past two matches from outside the 18-yard box, striking a left-footed shot under redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Josh Levine’s diving body.
With two seconds left in the first half, Penn State’s junior midfielder Aaron Molley scored from 25 yards out when Maryland failed to clear from the corner, stunning redshirt junior goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair and the rest of the Terps, cutting the Terps lead to 2-1 going into halftime.
The Nittany Lions scored the equalizing goal in the 84th minute, as redshirt senior Noah Pilato scored on a volley from just outside the box to tie the game up at 2-2.
“Those were world-class goals,” Cirovski said. “This is a very good Penn State team and a huge win for us.”
Midway through the first half, Penn State was leading with two shots to Maryland’s one, but neither team was controlling the game.
That all changed on a throw-in for the Terps in the 27th minute, as the ball bounced around the box until Lansade gained control and shot to the bottom right post out of Levine’s reach.
Lansade replaced DJ Reeves in the 19th minute, and just eight minutes later tallied a goal, becoming the ninth Terp to score this season.
“I think he’s going to be world-class in the upcoming years,” Bin said. “He’s shown that he can change the course of the game.”
With just over a minute left until halftime, the Terps took a 2-0 lead with Sejdic’s goal that they thought would sustain them until halftime, but the Nittany Lions had other plans and cut the lead to one goal with Molloy’s goal on a long distance volley.
Though Maryland was putting pressure on the Penn State defense, the two teams were still tied in shots halfway through the second half with six apiece.
The Nittany Lions put some additional pressure on the Terps in the final 15 minutes of the match, ultimately resulting in Pilato’s equalizing goal within the final 10 minutes.
In the first overtime period, both teams were playing with an expected urgency, but the Terps controlled possession.
Bin, with his fourth goal of the season, crushed Penn State’s hope of a comeback and secured the win in the second overtime in the 107th minute.
“The team is trending in a good way,” Cirovski said. “We’re mentally tougher and I think we’re playing at a higher level than we did earlier in the year. This was a deserving win.”
The Terps will travel to Ann Arbor to face the Michigan Wolverines on Sunday at 4 p.m., a match that will determine seeding for the Big Ten Tournament.
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