By Ben Strober
With 30 seconds left in the second overtime, Toni Domingos made her way around a defender, and was then at a low angle looking for her shot. Domingos made a strike that was deflected off Indiana’s goalie and bounced right next to the goal line.
Indiana cleared it out, and Maryland women’s soccer was sent off the field with a 0-0 draw, the team’s fifth tie of the season.
As the Terps had become accustomed to over the course of the season, 90 minutes of soccer wasn’t enough. A defensive battle left Maryland in another fight looking for their first Big Ten win since 2019.
Through the first stretch of the first half, both teams struggled to get anything going on offense. Indiana was leading on shots, but they were mostly blocked shots that didn’t pose much of a threat to Liz Brucia.
Maryland’s first chance came in the 16th minute when a nice through ball left forward Loren Sefcik in a race with two defenders to get to the ball right in front of the net. Sefcik was tripped up by the tackle, and Indiana goalie Jamie Gernstenberg scooped up the loose ball.
Indiana had the momentum early, but they just hadn’t put one in yet. They were generating corner kicks, and scrums around the net that posed as pretty dangerous for the Terps. Maryland’s defense was holding strong to this point.
In the 29th minute, Domingos found herself on the left side of the net with a good look at a shot. However, Domingos’ shot was one timed and missed to the left.
Brucia did a good job in the first half shutting down Indiana chances. Brucia’s efficiency in goal has helped make her the backbone of the team in the first half this season. A lot of shots are put on her, but she has been very solid and made some terrific saves.
Both teams headed off the pitch for half tied up still 0-0. The half came to a rather dramatic close when Sefcik’s shot from about 40 yards out hit the crossbar, and the Indiana goalie misplayed it.
The game was being played very aggressively on both sides. A lot of pushing and shoving but the official had his whistle swallowed, and not many fouls were being called.
Many of Maryland’s struggles on offense were coming from poor ball control. A lot of sequences for the Terps’ could have led to better scoring chances, but a bad touch on the ball allowed defenders to make plays on the ball.
Early in the second half, Maryland began to play at a faster pace and it was creating more chances. The Terps were able to force a few turnovers that gave them chances in Indiana’s defensive third. However, the Terps just couldn’t get one in.
In the 63rd minute, An indiana strike nailed the crossbar. Maryland fans exhaled deeply as the ball bounced way out of the zone off the bar. Indiana was leading in shots 12 to 7, but they only led in shots on goal by just one. Maryland was hanging tough.
Neither defense would budge as time was winding down. Small chances came here and there, but they were mostly stopped quickly, or poorly executed on both sides.
Time expired, and more soccer needed to be played.
Five minutes into the first OT, Camille Hamm of Indiana delivered a laser towards the top left. Smith made a fantastic leaping save to keep Maryland alive.
Indiana nearly ended it again with 50 seconds left in the first overtime. A collision between Megan Wampler and Smith made Smith out of position, and on the ground. Wampler scampered over to the ball with an open net. However, her left foot strike came off too high, and sent the game to a second overtime.
Indiana had two corners early in the second overtime, but Smith made two nice plays to end the threat.
A late free kick by Indiana was also saved by Smith. Smith came up big for the Terps Sunday when they needed her most. A tie could have easily become a loss.
With two games left, time is ticking on this season with Maryland’s tournament chances being slim. A Big Ten win to end off the season would be a good starting point into building for next year.