By Jack Parry
Red is usually a color donned by Maryland men’s soccer on its jersey threads during its matches. But on Sunday afternoon, the color was used to lead the Terps’ Brett St. Martin off the pitch as he was disqualified from the game late, putting the exclamation point on a shocking defeat to the unranked Wisconsin Badgers.
Wisconsin dominated the game all around, as the team’s defensive performance and constant offensive pressure led to them eventually cracking Maryland’s shell. The lone goal from the Badgers led them to a 1-0 victory, pulling a shocker on the visiting Terps.
Madison, Wisconsin was the setting in which No. 8 Maryland men’s soccer hoped for a bounce back game against the Wisconsin Badgers Sunday, after a disappointing tie against Rutgers the previous Tuesday.
The beginning of the Big Ten matchup showed a sense of urgency from both squads, but at the end of the day both sides were fine with keeping the ball in possession and trying to catch the other off guard on the counter.
Some shots came in the first half from the Terps, with Senior forward Justin Gielen getting a shot wide right in the 14th minute, and also rising up for a header that went right at the goalie in the 27th.
There were some clear frustrations early from the Maryland backfield, with new backline addition William Kulvik over hitting a wide open pass. However the next time he got the ball, senior defender and team captain Chris Rindov looked to yell “Take your time,” trying to make sure his defenders kept their composure.
Seeing that nothing was getting going for his team, midfielder Ben Bender tried to get things going with a shot from way outside in the 38th minute, one which swirled and dipped a long way to the left.
A short time later, breakout defender William Kulvik went out due to injury in the 42nd minute and was replaced by Kento Abe. The first half ended with a score of 0-0, and a performance which only the Badgers would be happy with.
At the start of the first half, Redshirt Freshman forward Joshua Bolma made multiple incursions into the penalty box, with one of those in the 48th minute resulting in a one on one opportunity with the goalkeeper. His feet got tangled and tripped over, but no foul was called by the referee, resulting in a goal kick and a frustrated Maryland side.
Then, out of nothing, Wisconsin took a 1-0 advantage in the 52nd minute. A number of bad clearances by the Terps resulted in a right footed shot by Marques Ignasi which prompted a miraculous save to the left by goalkeeper Niklas Neumann. However, the save led the ball right to the feet of Andrew Akindele, who slotted it home to give the Badgers the 1-0 lead in Madison.
The Badgers’ fight and aggression wasn’t over, even for Ignasi. As the ball was bouncing around in the box, the Wisconsin forward saw an opportunity in the 62nd. He took on a bicycle kick from right to the left of the goal, one which would’ve been on target had he not shot it straight out of bounds at blistering speed.
The Terps tried to come back with some promising offensive possessions in the second half, but they couldn’t seem to wriggle themselves from the grasp of the Badger defense. And as the game went on, the circumstances began to worsen.
As Wisconsin was spurring a fast break in the 78th minute, Maryland midfielder Brett St. Martin tried a sliding challenge from behind a Wisconsin forward. Then, as the clock stopped and the referee deliberated for minutes, a red card was pulled out from his pocket. This left the Terps down a man, and down a point, with about ten minutes left to play.
A corner from the Badgers in the 81st minute led to a header and then a miraculous diving save from the goalie Neumann, trying to keep Maryland in the game and not increase their deficit. To add insult to injury, Joshua Bolma went out with an injury in the 84th minute.
Despite all of this adversity, Maryland still managed to get some opportunities to score late in the game. A beautiful run down the left side was followed by an even better service into the box for
Justin Gielen skied his header in the 85th minute. A few more chances followed toward the end of the game, but nothing concrete as nothing even came close to a goal, resulting in a defeat.
Maryland will look to get out of its slump on Friday as the Terps take on the Northwestern Wildcats at Ludwig Field on October 8th.
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