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Men’s soccer falls to Maryland in Big Ten quarterfinals, ending season

The Wildcats held strong until an unfortunate penalty in the 70th minute.

Despite coming out firing and registering four shots in the first 20 minutes, Northwestern men’s soccer (8-8-2) dropped its Big Ten Quarterfinal 1-0 to Maryland on Sunday, ending its season.

Seeded fourth in the Big Ten Tournament, the Wildcats hosted the fifth-seeded Terrapins by virtue of their win 3-1 in College Park in September.

After recording four shots on goal, five corner kicks and nearly even a goal on a header from senior forward Ty Seager in the first half, the Wildcats could manufacture little offense after the break. The defending national champions outshot them 6-2 in the second half and applied enough pressure to draw a penalty in the box in the 70th minute.

Maryland freshman Nick Richardson drew the penalty, and team leader in scoring Eli Crognale beat Miha Miskovic to the right for a lead the Terps wouldn’t relinquish. It was Crognale’s third goal in as many games.

Matt Moderwell and Vicente Castro led Northwestern with two shots on goal each.

This season represented a step forward for Tim Lenahan’s squad. At 8-8-2 and 3-3-2 in conference, NU finished the season .500 or better for the first time since 2014, which was also the last time it hosted a Big Ten Tournament game. The ‘Cats went winless in conference play in 2018 and earned just one B1G win in 2017.

The Wildcats’ season is over (they are technically eligible for the NCAA Tournament, but would be a significant long shot today the least), while Maryland will take on the conference’s number one seed, Indiana, in the B1G semifinals Friday.