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Terps miss two PKs but beat Blue Hens 3-2 in 2OT

Gordon Wild netted his first hat trick as a Terp to lift Maryland to an 11th-straight win.

Gordon Wild netted his first hat trick as a Terp to lift Maryland to an 11th-straight win.

There were so many different factors pointing to Tuesday’s night game against Delaware being a let down – from star centerback Alex Crognale being out with a calf strain when the team was going up against one of the best forwards in the country Guillermo Delgado, to fact that it was the team’s third game in eight days at the end of a marathon of a season that led to some tired legs, to Maryland having all the pressure on them to keep their unbeaten record while the Blue Hens are a tough team with the fearlessness of an underdog playing their first-ever game against a No. 1-ranked opponent – but the Maryland men’s soccer team showed why them are unbeaten and labeled as the best team in the country and picked up a 3-2 victory in double-overtime on a frigged night at Ludwig Field.

Sophomore Gordon Wild completed a hat trick in the 107th minute to lift Maryland to the victory. Jake Rozhansky slid a ball from the middle of the box out to the left to Eryk Williamson. With a defender immediately on him inside the eight-yard box, Williams had no place to go with the ball, but saw Wild standing by the far post, flicked the ball over multiple defenders and Wild headed it into the goal to end the game with a Maryland victory.

“Jake played a good ball and I thought I was going to finish it but I saw I had a couple people around me and that is one of those plays I call Seb (Sebastian Elney) and Gordon over after practice and say ‘hey, let me chip a few in and you guys can finish them.’ It’s something we do pretty much every day in training,” Williamson said.

The goal came at the end of a grueling battle at Ludwig Field where at times, it just did not seem like it was Maryland’s night. Just a minute before the final goal, Wild lined up for a penalty kick after Rozhansky was taken down, but the sure-footed scorer blasted the ball over the bar.

And that was the second missed penalty kick of the game for Maryland. In the 42nd minute, DJ Reeves took a serve up the field and out-ran a Delaware defender to the ball. He was taken down from behind in the left side of the box. George Campbell lined up for the penalty kick, ripped it hard, but right at Blue Hens goalkeeper Todd Morton, who barely shifted to his left of center to make the stop.

But both Wild and Campbell made up for those misses with huge plays to help Maryland to the victory.

Trailing by one goal In the 74th minute Campbell took a pass into the box from Chris Odoi-Atsem, quickly flicked it to Wild, who finished in close range to tie the game. Then, with less than four minutes left in regulation Delaware sent a corner kick into the box, and a player got a head on it with Terps goalkeeper Cody Niedermeier on the opposite side of the goal, by Campbell kicked it off the line and cleared the ball to prevent the late Blue Hens goal.

Wild made up for his missed penalty kick with his game-winner.

“That’s my job, to help the team with goals if I can,” Wild said. “I feel I let the team down on my PK, I should have scored, that’s definitely something that shouldn’t have happened. But I’m glad that Eryk gave me that pass and I could redeem myself and get us the win.”

George Campbell missed a penalty kick, but saved the game for the Terps when he cleared a header off the line with less than five minutes remaining in regulation.

George Campbell missed a penalty kick, but saved the game for the Terps when he cleared a header off the line with less than four minutes remaining in regulation.

Wild’s first goal came in just the fourth minute of the game after the Blue Hens failed to clear the ball out of the box. Williamson backheeled it to Amar Sejdic in the left side of the box. He made a short pass forward to Wild and he finished inside the left post.

But Delaware had their own star striker, who helped put the Terps on the ropes in the game. Guillermo Delgado scored two goals, moving his season-total up to 11 on the year. In the 23rd minute he headed a ball into the goal from the right side off a corner kick sent in by Carlos Perales. Then in the 73rd minute he finally capitalized on a long serve over the Terps defense, got one-on-one against Niedermeier. His initial shot was save, but in close range to the goal, the ball bounced off Niedermeier’s hip and Delgado finished with a shot behind him into the far side of the goal.

“Not having Alex in today was tough,” Maryland head coach Sasho Cirovski said. “When you have maybe the best centerback in the country not playing against one of the best forward’s in the country you’re going to be exposed a few times.”

Delaware tested Maryland with the long-serve over the defense the entire game. Maryland just couldn’t stop it every time. Delaware nearly scored in the 68th minute with a flurry of shorts. A second-straight corner kick resulted in a header by the Blue Hen with Niedermeier on the opposite side of the goal, but freshman Keegan Kelly made the save off the line. He sent the ball down the field, but after Delaware got possession right back they sent a long pass over the Terps defense. Niedermeier was there for the save that time and controlled the ball. Immediately after the punt, Delaware served it over the Terps defense again and the ball was just barely cleared out of the eight-yard box.

“Delaware’s counter is probably as good as any team in the nation, particularly with Delgado, the way his runs are terrific, he’s athletic, he’s technical. They got some very tactically astute and technically sharp players that make it difficult,” Cirovski said. “I think you have to give full credit to a very good Delaware team on a great effort and have to commend them but to win a game when you miss two penalty kicks against a very good team is a fantastic outcome. It showed toughness, resiliency and that’s what our team is right now.”

Maryland will have a little time off before traveling to Ann Arbor, Michigan on Sunday to play the Wolverines in their final regular season game of the season before having a week off before hosting the Big Ten quarterfinals as the No. 1 seed on Sunday, November 6.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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