November 13, 3016
Kathryn L. Knapp
No. 1 Maryland on 15-game winning streak
Chicagoland Soccer News Contributing Editor
WESTFIELD, Ind. – Maryland. That word alone equals dominance as of late in men’s college soccer. The Maryland Terrapins started the season ranked No. 7. Three weeks later, September 20, 2016 the Terps took over the No. 1 position. They haven’t looked back since, posting an 18-0-2 record.
“Sometimes I’m at a loss for words,” Maryland head coach Sasho Cirovski said. “This was our fifth conference championship in six years. You need your big players to make big plays. Today they did. We’ve accomplished two of our three goals. We’ll be focused on our third goal from here on out.”
Maryland won the regular season Big Ten Title, and now the Big Ten Tournament title. Their next goal is winning the NCAA Tournament.
With Sunday’s 2-1 win over Wisconsin, Maryland has now won 15 straight matches, six of those were overtime wins. The Terrapins have yet to let an opponent score in overtime. They have outscored opponents 49-19. Defensively goalkeeper Cody Neidermeier has played every minute for the Terps, allowing 19 goals for a 0.89 goals against average, while making 53 saves and posting six shutouts.
Maryland has won five straight conference championships, including three straight in the Big Ten. Prior to joining the Big Ten in 2014, the Terps won back-to-back conference championships in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
“We’ve worked really hard,” Maryland’s Alex Crognale said. “Every year we want to win [the conference championship]. It’s not easy. We’re just tuned in for 90 minutes, which is important if you want to win championships.”
Maryland has advanced to the NCAA Tournament for 16 straight seasons. By winning the Big Ten Tournament, they earned their 16th straight tournament berth on Sunday. Maryland has not won a College Cup since 2008. The last trip they made to the College Cup was in 2013. Notre Dame beat Maryland in the final 2-1.
There is no doubt that Maryland will receive a high seed in the NCAA Tournament. 48 teams will be named on Monday. The only question is, which seed will they get? As of November 7th Maryland ranked second in the RPI (Ratings Percentage Index). But in the NSCAA Coaches ranking the Terrapins received 24 first place votes, earning them the No. 1 ranking for the seventh straight week. The NCAA Tournament Committee will announce the NCAA Bracket on Monday.