The Maryland men’s soccer team advanced to the Big Ten Semifinals thanks to sophomore Eric Matzelevich’s game-winning goal in the final minutes of overtime to lift the No. 5-seeded Terps over the fourth-seeded Michigan State, 1-0.
Just before Matzelevich’s heroics, the Terps had Michigan State’s senior goalkeeper Jimmy Hague on the ropes after he made a diving save on a shot from junior attacker Paul Bin.
After the corner kick was partially cleared out, though, the Terps regained possession and sent the ball over to a wide open Vinicius Lansade. The freshman took a shot on Hague that he purried right into the path of Matzelevich, who was right there to tap it in.
Maryland outshot Michigan State, 19-15, with the Spartans gaining some momentum in the second half and the initial flow of overtime.
The Terps started off the match applying pressure, but the two teams were evenly matched through the first 22 minutes in all categories— shots, shots on goal and saves— yet neither broke through.
After the halfway point in the first half, though, the Terps started turning up the pressure, as senior Amar Sejdic and freshman William James Herve got two shots each.
The pressure from the Terps resulted in seven shots, four on goal, but at halftime the Terps had not found the back of the net.
The second half was a new chapter, one that Michigan State looked to be in control. The Spartans nearly took a 2-0 lead within the span of five minutes, had it not been for the heroics of goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair. The redshirt junior made one save to a curving shot to the upper right corner of the goal and another diving save on a close-range shot from freshman forward Farai Mutatu.
Mutatu also had a look on goal in overtime from inside the box, but St. Clair was able to block the shot from slipping into the near post and keep it tied at 0-0. Junior midfielder Giuseppe Barone, the Big Ten Midfielder of the Year, also had a chance inside the box in overtime, but his shot went straight at St. Clair.
Both goalkeepers impressed, with St. Clair finishing with five saves and Hague with eight. But it was the Maryland defense that was the true star of the match, shutting out a Michigan State offense that had 10 corner kicks, avenging the two goals against from their last meeting Oct. 5.
At the end of regulation, the Terps were leading in shots 16-12 and facing a Michigan State squad playing in their fourth straight overtime game.
Though the Spartans were applying pressure much of the second half and into the overtime period, the Terps’ backline, led by junior defender Donovan Pines, held off the Spartans to give their offense a chance to seal the win, which Matzelevich capitalized.
The Terps will meet the winner of the Indiana-Northwestern quarterfinal match in the semifinal round on Friday at 1 p.m.
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