Jamie Lowell threw a short pass on a goal kick as Maryland men’s football tried to maintain its lead late on.
What appeared to be a routine ball for William Kulvik turned into an opportunity for Penn State after Kulvik’s release was blocked. Lowell was unable to corner the ricochet before falling to Tyger Evans, whom the goalie knocked out.
The referee called the penalty, Evans walked up and found the bottom left corner before rushing in to celebrate with his teammates on the sideline.
The Terps lost their second lead of the night to a self-inflicted lapse, something coach Sasho Cirovski felt his team faced throughout the match.
“We certainly did enough to win this game,” said Cirovski. “But also, once again, we made a lot of critical mistakes that cost us three points today. That part was very frustrating.”
[Maryland men’s soccer and Penn State trade late penalty kicks in 3-3 draw]
Penn State opened the scoring with two goals in the first halfwhich Cirovski felt his defense could have prevented.
Maryland conceded their first set-piece goal in three games when Femi Awodesu’s header passed Lowell to tie the game at 1-1. Minutes later, Evans darted forward following an offer from the Terps before running into Peter Mangione, who fired his curling punch on Lowell.
“We just have to become a little more petty and we have to be more resolute defensively,” said Cirovski. “They scored a goal in the corner, that shouldn’t happen. And then they scored a goal on the counterattack where we had the ball in this half of the field and very carelessly handed it over.”
The Terps regained the lead in the second halfbut Evans’ penalty after a contest in the area was another Maryland mistake that saw him miss his first points in the Big Ten game this season.
[No. 8 Maryland men’s soccer wins first conference bout of season over Michigan, 2-1]
While pleased with the team’s response at halftime, junior Alex Nitzl was disappointed with the team’s defense of the Nittany Lions’ final goal, saying the Terps “simply make it easy for other teams now”.
Despite submitting the most goals of the entire season, Maryland still scored three times and recorded more than double the amount of shots against their conference rivals.
Cirovski noted that he felt his team controlled the match and generated some good scoring chances, but Penn State managed to take advantage of their team’s defensive mistakes.
“In the moments when we were awake, we can definitely take care of it and say, ‘This is exactly how we want to play,’” said Chris Rindov. “We just have to keep going through the whole game instead of going [through] highs and lows.”
Rindov said that given the quality of conference opponents, the Terps should focus on improving their defensive consistency as they seek the conference trophy.
“It will take a full 90 minutes, no matter what the team, no matter what the venue. [or] context [or] time,” Rindov said. “It will have to be a battle on our side.”