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Terps take fifth-straight conference crown

maryland-championship

The Maryland men’s soccer team’s dominance at the top of the Big Ten continued I their third season since joining the league. The Terps topped third-seeded Wisconsin 2-1 to earn their third-straight Big Ten championship and fifth-straight conference tournament crown overall.

The Terps remained unbeaten through their first 20 games of the season as they will now prepare to be the No. 1 overall seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. But to get a win in their 20th game, sophomores DJ Reeves and Sebastian Elney each scored to move the team’s winning-streak to 15-straight games, the longest stretch in program history.

Reeves was inserted into the Terps starting lineup for the first time in his collegiate career in the championship game and got Maryland ahead in less than 90 seconds. Suli Dainkeh booted the ball up the field to Reeves, who beat Badger goalkeeper Philipp Schilling from six yards out to the left.

Maryland was in for a fight, though. Ten minutes later Wisconsin’s Christopher Mueller and Noah Leibold moved the ball up the field in a breakaway. They them got the ball to Tom Barlow and he finished to the left post from 12 yards out to even the score.

But before the halftime whistle sounded Elney scored what would prove to be the game-winning goal. In the 43rd minute, Jorge Calix sent a corner kick into the box and Elney headed the ball in from short range.

Terps goalkeeper Cody Niedermeier finished with seven saves in the game to help preserve the victory for Maryland as they earned their 33rd overall league title and ninth tournament championship.

“This was another great team performance and once again we showed our resiliency,” head coach Sasho Cirovski said. “We showed our championship fiber. This is an absolutely remarkable accomplishment. With all the success that I’ve had, I’m still at a loss for words for the fifth championship in five years. I credit my staff and my players for their resiliency and class and for bringing it every single day.”

Senior defender Alex Crognale and sophomore forward Gordon Wild were named the Big Ten Champion Defensive and Offensive MVPs, respectively, joining Niedermeier on the all-tournament team.

Maryland out-shot Wisconsin 13-11 and held an 8-3 advantage on corner kicks in the game. They had a 7-1 advantage on corner kicks in the first half, including their one in the 43rd minute that led to the game-winning goal.

Ranked No. 1 in the country with an 18-0-2 record and 15-game winning streak, the Terps are a lock to be the top overall seed in the upcoming NCAA Men’s Soccer tournament. The bracket will be announced on Monday at 1 pm.

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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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