Almost two weeks ago, Maryland men's soccer goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair laid still on the ground in front of Ludwig Field's south goal. Georgetown had just scored an 88th-minute winner, snapping the Terps' 31-game regular season undefeated streak.
At the conclusion of Sunday's regular season finale against Michigan, St. Clair was motionless again in front of the same net.
This time, however, he wasn't alone. Many of his teammates also couldn't bear to move a muscle, squatting or laying flat as the Wolverines became the fourth consecutive team to celebrate an upset win at Ludwig Field, using forward Francis Atuahene's 104th-minute golden goal to beat Maryland, 2-1, in double overtime and snatch the Big Ten regular season title.
Maryland finished fourth in the conference, its worst ranking since joining the Big Ten in 2014.
"It's a very cruel ending tonight," coach Sasho Cirovski said. "Credit to [Atuahene] for making a great play. … That's the difference in the game. One play."
The Terps were about six minutes away from their third Big Ten regular season-title when Wolverines midfielder Jack Hallahan swung a cross into the box. St. Clair dove and got a piece of it, but it trickled through to Atuahene, who adjusted and extended his right foot, clinching Michigan's first-ever Big Ten title and sending the Wolverines sideline into a frenzy.
"The game looked like it was tipping in our favor and worst-case [we] come out of here with a tie," Cirovski said. "And then they just made a play."
The team can attribute Sunday's loss to Atuahene's split-second moment of brilliance, but it extended its losing streak to a near-unfathomable four games since the Georgetown loss. The last time the Terps lost four straight games at Ludwig Field was September 2000. That was one of two seasons under Cirovski the Terps failed to make the NCAA tournament.
Sunday was far from Maryland's worst performance of late and featured the team's first goal in more than 300 minutes, but it represented a stunning lack of results after beginning the season looking like the juggernaut it was expected to be, having returned most of its starters from a squad that went undefeated in the 2016 regular season.
"This is a strange game," Cirovski said. "That game could've gone either way. We could've won that and been celebrating right now."
Some of the team's recent difficulties can be explained by injuries to the backline. Starting defenders Chase Gasper (groin) and Donovan Pines (concussion) were unavailable again Sunday and the Terps conceded in the seventh minute.
Wolverines defender Daniel Mukuna headed in a corner kick from midfielder Marc Ybarra that put Michigan up 1-0. Set piece defense was a problem for the Terps early in the year, and the issue resurfaced with the 6-foot-5 Pines sidelined Sunday.
"Time and rest," Cirovski said when asked what it will take for the team to rediscover its earlier form. "We need to get some kids healthy."
The attack, however, hasn't had any injuries to blame for its lack of production. Entering Sunday, the Terps had been shut out for three consecutive games for the first time since 1991.
Forward DJ Reeves mercifully ended that streak in the 36th minute, scoring Maryland's first goal since its emotional 5-4 win over Wisconsin on Oct. 13, the team's most recent victory. He pounced on a deflected cross from forward Gordon Wild to equalize in the 36th minute.
"It was raining out, so I mean you have to be ready for opportunities in terms of the ball falling to you," Reeves said. "The ball fell to me perfectly, so I just turned and shot as soon as I could."
Almost 90 minutes later, with Reeves' goal nearly having earned the Terps a Big Ten championship, Hallahan's cross deflected to Atuahene much less pristinely.
Still, Atuahene put the ball into the back of the net, sending the Terps into a crestfallen state that's become all-too familiar to them recently.
"It is what it is," Reeves said. "It's tough right now."