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Tale of the Tape: Maryland

After a big bounce back road win at Michigan on Sunday, the Hoosiers are back in Bloomington for another conference match, welcoming in the Maryland Terrapins.

Anytime these two storied programs get together, it’s bound to be a fun 90 minutes (and maybe more). However, the last four matchups between the Hoosiers and the Terps have been draws. While this match isn’t between ranked teams as it has been in many past matchups, the intrigue is still there with Sasho Cirovski’s side trying to pull an upset.

It’s been a mixed bag of a season for Maryland as it comes in 4-3-2 and 2-1 in the Big Ten. The Terrapins have not scored in the month of October (two matches), and will face another stiff challenge with Indiana’s backline. Can they break their goalless drought on Friday?

Let’s get into this week’s edition of Tale of the Tape.

Biggest Strength

Maryland’s defense has to be considered one of its biggest strengths. In nine matches this season, the Terrapins have only allowed nine goals, including five shutouts. The two center backs of Johannes Bergmann and Donovan Pines, one of the top defenders in the country, the Terps are 23rd in the nation in team goals against average.

Along with Pines and Bergmann in central defense, Dayne St. Clair has established himself as a top notch goalkeeper for Cirovski and Maryland. A season ago in this matchup in College Park, St. Clair made some big saves to keep that game tied. Once again in 2018, he has impressed, topping the Big Ten with a .820 save percentage.

Biggest Weakness

It’s a good thing Maryland hasn’t given up a lot of goals, because they haven’t exactly been pouring in goals either. They’ve scored nine goals in nine games, and that number is buoyed by a three-goal outing in a big win at a ranked Coastal Carolina team. They have been shutout in six matches including the first four matches of the season, albeit against stiff competition (three solid Pac-12 schools and an ACC foe).

If the Terrapins are to score, look to freshman midfielder William James Herve. The Frenchman leads the team with three goals and is second with two assists. Herve basically won Maryland’s matchup against Northwestern scoring a late goal to go to overtime and then the game winner in the extra session.

Key Matchup

Justin Rennicks vs. Donovan Pines: Pines has been one of the best defenders in the country by many metrics. The 6-5 center back will have his hands full with all of IU’s attacking options, but there is a good chance Rennicks will be the go-to striker up top. He has been in good form as of late, but hasn’t scored since IU’s 2-1 over Northwestern.

The dangerous part about Indiana is that Rennicks may not even be the one that needs to score the goal. For Pines and Maryland, it will be interesting to see how they will try and combat IU’s wide-ranging attack.

One to Watch

Amar Sejdic: Maryland’s number ten has been a key playmaker for the Terrapins in 2018. His two goals rank second on the team and he has started all nine games for Cirovski. He will have his hands full in the midfield Friday going up against one of the best midfields in the nation with Indiana. If Sejdic is able to get on the ball and dictate the match, it could be troublesome for the Hoosiers.

Overall Assessment

When it comes down to it, the Hoosiers should be considered the favorite. They have played well as of late, save the match at Kentucky, and should be hungry for three more points in conference play. Indiana has the advantage in all three field positions, with probably a push at goalkeeper. Look for the Hoosiers to dictate the match and control what happens in the midfield. I think there will be a winner Friday night, breaking the streak of four straight draws between these two programs.

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