A first half of defensive woes and a game void of shots on goal gave No. 6 IU a 3-0 loss to No. 25 Maryland. This was IU’s first regular season loss to a Big Ten opponent in over four years.
The Terrapins preserved their 19-year unbeaten streak at home against the Hoosiers with crafty tackles and slick ball movement to set up offensive plays. Their three first-half goals were a deficit that the Hoosiers could not recover from.
Making a rare start for Maryland, freshman midfielder David Kovacic kicked home the game’s first goal in the 15th minute. A high press gave Maryland the chance to kick the ball down to Kovacic who went past the IU defenders and kicked it through the net.
Another counter at the midfield line gave the Terrapins their second opportunity to score just 10 minutes later.
The Hoosiers’ senior midfielder Joris Ahlinvi was taken out with a slide tackle, and the ball was launched downfield to the Terrapins’ freshman forward Eric Matzelevich. He tore past the Hoosier defenders and slammed the ball past IU freshman goalkeeper Roman Celentano.
Slightly more than a minute later on a corner kick opportunity — one of eight on the night — Maryland set itself up for its third goal. Senior midfielder Eli Crognale skyed the ball to the right side of the box for a header goal from senior defender Johannes Bergmann.
IU’s defense surrendered nothing in the second half and saw a couple of diving saves from Celentano. Nevertheless, the damage had already been done.
There were no highlights offensively for the Hoosiers. Despite taking more shots than the Terrapins, the Hoosiers put none on frame.
Maryland’s goals tied for the most it has ever scored against IU. Additionally, the team scored more than any IU opponent in 2019.
Friday’s loss also marked the first time a conference opponent scored three or more goals against IU since Rutgers scored four at Bloomington in 2015.
IU’s stretch of 32 unbeaten regular season games in the Big Ten conference is now over, and the program returns home Tuesday to take on the University of Evansville.
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