The top-seeded Ohio State men’s soccer team fell 2-0 against the No. 3 seeded Maryland in the Big Ten tournament finals on Sunday afternoon, ending the Buckeyes’ bid to be both the regular-season and postseason Big Ten champions.
Freshman forward Eryk Williamson and senior midfielder Tsubasa Endoh led the Terrapins to the Big Ten tournament title with a goal apiece.
OSU’s nine-game home win streak was snapped by Maryland and it fell to 13-6-2 on the season, while the Terrapins improved to 10-5-5.
Maryland won its second consecutive Big Ten tournament championship with the victory, and will receive an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.
The Buckeyes were taken off guard at the ferocity of how Terrapins entered Sunday’s match.
“We were surprised at how physical the game was allowed to be in the first half and that didn’t help our cause because we did not adjust to that,” OSU coach John Bluem said.
Maryland pressured the Buckeyes early and often, double-teaming each player who touched the ball.
Williamson’s goal came in the 10th minute off an assist from junior defender Ivan Magalhaes to give the Terrapins an early 1-0 advantage.
The goal marked the first time the Buckeyes trailed at home since Aug. 30 against Binghamton.
OSU struggled to regain any momentum after facing an early deficit and was down a point heading into the second half.
The Buckeyes’ halftime adjustments led to a turnaround in the second half of the game, however, as they tried to match the intensity of Maryland.
Shots were 7-5 in favor of OSU in the second half.
Despite being up in shots, the Scarlet and Gray missed several open looks that presented an opportunity to knot up the score.
In the 60th minute, sophomore forward Marcus McCrary sent across a pass to junior forward Danny Jensen, who sent in a header, but Maryland redshirt junior goalkeeper Cody Niedermeier came out with the save.
Ten minutes later, senior midfielder Zach Mason launched in a ball from the top of the box, but his shot hit off the top of the crossbar and sailed out of bounds, leaving him just inches away from the equalizer.
“The second half we played much better. Possession wise, statistically, I thought we dominated the second half,” Bluem said. “We hit the crossbar, their goalkeeper made a great save, and we had a couple really good chances to get an equalizer and even go ahead.”
Endoh capitalized on the Terrapins victory after scoring a goal in the 88th minute following a deflection of Williamson’s shot.
Maryland topped OSU in a 2-0 shutout victory to clinch the Big Ten Tournament title.
Bluem said despite the loss, he is very happy with the way the Buckeyes came out in the second half to try and take down the Terrapins and feels good heading into the NCAA tournament later in the week.
Overall, shots were an even 11-11, while the Buckeyes held a 7-6 lead in corner kicks — all of which came in the second half.
Mason and junior forward Yaw Amankwa were named to the Big Ten all-tournament team following the loss.
The Buckeyes will now wait for Monday, when they will learn their placement on the NCAA tournament bracket. The selection show is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.