A change of formation shows flexibility ahead of Maryland men’s soccer visit to Ohio State

(Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics)

After a 2-0 win against High Point on Monday, Maryland’s second game in four days, head coach Sasho Cirovski and his players were not satisfied. Despite a Justin Gielen goal taking the Terps into the half with the lead, the Terps were not as sharp as the fans are accustomed to them being, so the Terps’ manager felt a change was necessary.

After some deliberation, a slight tweak to the formation was made and the Terps were much sharper. There was understanding and confidence in the new formation, and it may be an option going forward. Cirovski hopes that this new formation, to which a name has not been given, would allow for more fluidity between all 11 players on the field.

Sasho Cirovski calls the formation “flexible and fluid across the back and through the midfield.” 

The Terps coach, who is in his 28th year in College Park, knows experience when he sees it. He praised Brett St. Martin, Chris Rindov, and Nick Richardson for their versatility and leadership in the experimentation with a new formation. All three have played every defensive position at some point in their career, and Richardson has pushed into the midfield in the new fluid formation.

“We have three guys that have played multiple roles, so they understand all of them,” Cirovski said. He added that the experience of St. Martin, Chris Rindov, and Nick Richardson helps other players faced with playing a new position.

Now, the Terps travel away from the Ludwig Field faithful for only the third time this season to face the Buckeyes at Jesse Owens Stadium in Columbus. The Terps are excited about the challenge of going on the road. Their only other road game this season was about 15 minutes down the Beltway at Georgetown.

“Games are won between the white lines, not in cities or at stadiums,” said Cirovski when asked about what could be different about the team compared to games at home.

The last time these two teams met, the Terps lost 1-0 in what was their poorest performance of the whole season, and they are out for retribution

“Ohio State had our number last year and it was one of our worst performances of the season despite having the sway of the play,” said junior midfielder Malcolm Johnston, who started the reverse fixture at an empty Ludwig Field last year, “They have a good program and a good team, but we have to make up for what happened last year.” 

With last year’s match fresh in their minds, the Terrapins are set to make the six-and-a-half-hour drive to Columbus to try and get the last laugh against Ohio State. Cirovski did not allude to the formation he would use, but be on the lookout for midfield and defensive shifting throughout the match, which is at 7 p.m. Friday and can be viewed on B1G+.

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