After almost a week between games, the Indiana men’s soccer team faces Maryland at 1 p.m. Sunday at Bill Armstrong Stadium.
It’s the Hoosiers inaugural Big Ten conference match against the Terrapins. Neither team has played each other since the 2007 season.
Both teams come into the match with lots of confidence, as each has a three-game win streak. Maryland (6-5-2, 2-2-1 Big Ten) has outscored its opponents 7-0 during its win streak.
Aside from extending their win streaks and earning three points in the Big Ten standings, the Hoosiers and the Terrapins will have much more than that to play for.
Indiana (8-1-3, 2-1-1 Big Ten) is searching for its first win against Maryland in 10 years. The last two matches - a 1-1 double-overtime draw on Aug. 31, 2007 in Bloomington, and a 3-3 draw in College Park, Md. – were ties.
Both teams have met just five times overall. And if those ties – and history in general – is any indication, this Sunday’s match should be close.
In addition to the draws in 2005 and 2007, the other three matches between the two programs were all decided by one goal. IU leads the all-time series 3-0-2, which also means Maryland will be looking for its first win in the series.
The key for the Hoosiers to prevent Maryland from getting its first-ever win against IU will be stopping Terrapins Mael Corboz, who leads his team with five goals and three assists for 13 points. Senior midfielder Mikias Eitcha is second on the team with three goals and one assist.
Defensively, Maryland is last in the Big Ten in saves. The Terrapins have made just 23 saves this season, averaging 1.77 per game. They’ve also only allowed 11 goals all season, which ranks fifth in the conference.
This has all been accomplished similar to IU, in that Maryland also has a sophomore goalkeeper. It will be a challenge for the Hoosiers as the Terrapins have recorded six shutouts in 13 games this season.
Maryland will be playing with extra motivation, because a win would earn it three points and move it up to 10 points in the Big Ten standings. A win would also do the same for IU, which is currently third in the Big Ten.
Sunday’s match is sure to be entertaining and a nail-biter with all that’s at stake. With Maryland fourth in the conference in goals scored, IU will have to have a great defensive performance to get the win.