Terps Top Indiana For Third Straight Conference Title


Dec 13, 2013; Chester, PA, USA; Maryland Terrapins midfielder Dan Metzger (7) fights for the ball with Virginia Cavaliers midfielder Eric Bird (11) at PPL Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland and the Big Ten got a dream match up for the conference title when Indiana beat Ohio State and Maryland survived against Michigan State. Indiana and Maryland are two of the powerhouse programs in the country, and getting another game between the two was good news for the Big Ten. The two teams played a high level ninety minutes, which ended with Maryland winning their third straight conference tournament championship

Zack Steffen continued to show why he is one of the best goalkeepers in the country on Sunday. Early in the first half he made a save off of a corner kick to keep the score level at zero. The save was one of his best of the year and one of the biggest plays of the game. Maryland is currently riding an eleven game unbeaten streak and on the streak they have not trailed in a game.

Senior right back, Jereme Raley, was injured in the semifinal game against Michigan State. He did not play on Sunday, and instead Christoffer Wallander-Lanev started at right back. The freshman from Sweeden drew the responsibility of slowing down Indiana’s Tanner Thompson. Lanev handled the Big Ten’s leading goal scorer and prevented him from making a big impact on the game. In the fourty second minute, following a cross by Mikey Ambrose that took several deflections, Indiana wasn’t able to clear the ball. Wallander-Lanev found himself in the middle of the box with the ball at his feet, and he calmly placed a low shot past Colin Webb for the games first goal.

In the second half, Maryland struggled to maintain possession. Throughout the game, they were unable to win headers in the air and gain possession off of goal kicks. Indiana’s size on defense was frustrating Maryland, and allowed the Hoosiers to put pressure on Zack Steffen. Mid way through the half, Mikey Ambrose slipped on defense and the loose ball was deflected past Steffen by a Maryland defender. The own goal tied the game at 1-1, and with Indiana dominating possession it did not look hopeful for the Terps.

After several corner kicks by Maryland threatened Indiana’s Colin Webb, it looked as if Maryland had regained control of the match. Sasho brought on David Kabelik and Jeroen Meefout, who were able to pressure the Indiana back line. Both players added pace and allowed Maryland’s midfield to play threatening through balls from the middle.

With under five minutes in regulation, Meefout had a through ball played to him. While making his run, an Indiana defender clipped his heel and brought him down outside the box. The pressure by Meefout created a free kick situation for Maryland. The Terrapins leading goal scorer, Mael Corboz, stepped up to the take the free kick. Corboz was able to get the ball over the wall and to dip past the outreached arms of Colin Webb. Corboz’s free kick was in the back of the net and sent the Maryland fateful into a frenzy.

Corboz, who transferred from Rutgers, continues to show how impressive of a technical player he is. Most of his goals this season have come off of set pieces involving free kicks and penalty kicks. He has fit in well with his new team, and has arguably been the Terrapins MVP his season. Corboz was rewarded for his play during the Big Ten Tournament by winning the offensive MVP award.

Zack Steffen was called on to lead Maryland over Michigan State on Friday, and against Indiana on Sunday he was heavily tested. Steffen finished the Big Ten Tournament with two clean sheets, and a couple of tournament saving saves. After not making the Big Ten first team or second team, he was awarded the defensive MVP of the Big Ten Tournament.

The NCAA Tournament bracket will be announced later on Sunday. After winning the Big Ten regular season and conference tournament, Maryland is in good position to secure a top seed. The first round will kick off on Thursday November 20. Check back www.terrapinstationmd.com for more information about Marylands road to the College Cup.