In what will be remembered as one of the best Big Ten games in recent memory, the battle of first and second place teams needed extra time to decide a winner.
University of Wisconsin men’s soccer team lost an overtime thriller to the No. 1 University of Maryland Terrapins 3-2 in College Park Friday night. Though the loss was the first for the Badgers in three weeks, it proved their ability to compete with the best in the country.
The Terrapins (11-0-2, 6-0-1) scored first off of an Amar Sejdic free kick that bent into the Badger goal box to senior Terrapin captain Alex Crognale, who headed in his third goal of the season.
Down 1-0 at halftime, the Badgers (7-3-2, 3-2-1 Big Ten) charged back in the second half. With goals from sophomore Sam Brotherton and junior Mark Segbers within three minutes of each other, Wisconsin took the lead and the momentum from the Terrapins.
The Badger’s equalizer came from Brotherton off of a free kick assist from Christopher Mueller and broke the Terrapin’s five game shutout streak. It was the third goal of the sophomore captain’s season despite being a defenseman.
Mueller followed that up not long after when he fired a pass past the Terrapins’ goal box, and Segbers finished it off. This was also Segbers’ third goal of the season and gave the Badgers the lead, one they would hold until two minutes left in the game.
With time running down and their first loss on the season looming, the Terrapins led a ferocious attack that resulted in a corner kick and a header goal that tied the game and sent it into overtime.
In the extra period, both teams went back and forth until under three minutes to go when Maryland’s Eryk Williamson showed off a great feat of soccer skill and beat Wisconsin keeper Phillip Schilling with a shot to the lower left corner that won the game and extinguished the Badger’s upset hopes.
Despite giving up three goals, the Badger’s defense was stellar and proved their backline is one of the best in the Big Ten and the nation. Schilling recorded eight saves to an already standout season.
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At the end of the game, both team’s play proved two things: Maryland is one of the best soccer programs in the nation, and Wisconsin is headed in that direction.
There was doubt whether UW could compete at the next level, but they responded as they have all season and put forth an outstanding performance in one of the toughest environments in all of college soccer.
The Badgers take a breather from conference play as they return home this week for a matchup against instate rival UW-Milwaukee Tuesday. The game kicks off at the McClimon Soccer Complex against 7 p.m.