By Timothy Ryan
COLLEGE PARK – The Maryland Terrapins came away with a 1-0 win against Virginia Commonwealth University, even without long-time head coach Sasho Cirovski on the sidelines.
Cirovski drew a suspension and fine after an argument at the end of Maryland’s overtime loss to Northwestern on Sunday. Assistant coach Brian Rowland took over in Cirovski’s absence.
And it didn’t take long for the Terps to give the first-time college head coach a lead.
The Terps capitalized on an early chance after VCU goalkeeper Garrett Cyprus drew a red card for tripping senior forward Alex Shinsky in the box 16 minutes into the first half.
Junior midfielder Mael Corboz drilled the penalty kick past newly entered keeper Pierre Gardan and into the lower right corner of the net to give the Terps a 1-0 lead.
With the Rams playing a man down, the Terps dominated possession and most of the game was played in VCU’s defensive half. However, Maryland did not manage to score again as VCU packed defenders into the box and cleared most of the Terps offensive chances.
“At times then it becomes more onus on our backs to show good possession,” Rowland said of the change in his team’s strategy after the VCU red card. “And it becomes, for them, a game of playing for set pieces and playing for any little chance that they can get in their half. So I thought that tactically it threw us a little bit.”
Corboz launched five shots in the game, including one that hit the crossbar with 17 minutes to play in the first half.
“We were lucky enough for them to get a red card,” Corboz said. “So they were sitting really deep which opened up a lot of space for me and [senior midfielder Dan] Metzger at the top of the box. And that shot was on all day, so I took my chance a few times and unfortunately for me it didn’t go in.”
Overall, the Terps outshot the Rams 16-4 during the contest and only allowed one VCU shot in the second half.
The win snaps a two game losing streak for the Terps and sends the team into a matchup with #3 ranked Penn State on an upswing.
“Coming into tonight I think we knew we had to win, and I think from the last game and things that have happened since the last game we came in with a little bit of fire and a little bit of anger,” Corboz said.
The Terps (4-5-2) host the Nittany Lions on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Ludwig Field.