With a win Saturday in College Park, Md., the Ohio State men’s soccer team would have been able to set its sights on the top seed in the Big Ten, knowing that it will be playing at home in postseason play.
Instead, the status of OSU’s quarterfinal game on Nov. 9 now appears a little murkier.
The Buckeyes (7-6-4, 4-3-0) fell to Maryland (10-5-2, 4-2-1), 1-0, in a game in which they were stifled by the Terrapin defense.
Freshman forward George Campbell scored the decisive goal in the 75th minute to break the scoreless tie. Maryland capitalized off a corner kick, dishing it twice in the box before Campbell knocked it past OSU redshirt-senior goalkeeper Alex Ivanov for his second goal of the season.
Ivanov made six saves in the defeat, but his offense was unable to garner any support through the Maryland defense.
Maryland outshot OSU by a count of 13-4 for the game, including holding the Buckeyes without a shot for the entirety of the first half.
Two of OSU’s four shots were on the mark, as freshman forward Marcus McCrary and sophomore defender Austin Bergstrom got attempts in on Maryland sophomore goalkeeper Zack Steffen in the second half, but Steffen stopped both.
The shutout was Steffen’s seventh of the season, including his fourth during the Terrapin’s current seven-game winning streak.
The loss caused OSU to be jumped by Maryland in the Big Ten standings. OSU sits in a tie for third with Northwestern at 12 points, one point in front of Michigan State, Indiana and Michigan, who are tied for fifth.
In order to host its quarterfinal game at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, OSU needs to finish in the top four of the conference. A win in its last game against Michigan would clinch the Buckeyes a trip back to Columbus – something they could have accomplished by beating Maryland.
Beating the Terrapins would have put OSU in a tie with Penn State for the top spot in the conference with 15 points, though the Nittany Lions would hold the tiebreaker after beating the Buckeyes, 1-0, on Sept. 21.
OSU is set to look to grab a crucial victory when it travels to Ann Arbor, Mich., on Wednesday to wrap up its regular season. That game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.