By Sebastian Obando
Forward George Campbell made a swift run into the penalty area, where a seemingly routine finish would only be disrupted by a desperate late slide tackle. The frantic attempt to keep the Terps off the board ultimately was unsuccessful, as referee Peter Dhima immediately signaled to the spot. It had been close to 110 minutes since the last Terrapin goal, but Mael Corboz shrugged off all the nerves, as he coolly walked up to the penalty spot in hopes to end the scoring draught.
“During penalty kicks I normally just try to clear my head, just act like it’s practice all over again,” midfielder Corboz said after the game. “You can’t let the noise get in your head”
Using this technique, the junior slotted the spot-kick past Dayton goalkeeper Chris Froschauer and into the bottom left corner to put the Terps one goal up in the 31st minute. Maryland managed to preserve this lead until the final whistle blew.
Recurring problems still lingered however, as the Terps failed to score off the run of play despite a season-high of 16 shots. Nonetheless, the midfield was excellent. Good movement and link up play had Dayton scrambling for possession throughout the game. The quartet of Michael Sauers, Dan Metzger, Corboz, and Tsubasa Endoh thrived in the second half, creating quality chances for the forwards. In addition, side backs Mikey Ambrose and Jereme Raley provided excellent runs on the flanks, penetrating the defense on several occasions.
“It was a very good team performance tonight, one of our most complete 90 minutes,” said Maryland Head Coach Sasho Cirovski. “I thought the guys came out with great energy, commitment, and quality tonight. It was a good win and now we get ready for Friday.”
The strong team performance, however, wasn’t witnessed by many. An announced 804 fans were in attendance, a season low for the Terps. The south stands were left empty, as the few members of The Crew all gathered on the bleachers beneath the scoreboard.
“I love our fans so much they’ve been great this whole season. They certainly have the right to pick and choose because it is a big commitment. We’ve got Wisconsin and Georgetown coming up; I know we’ll get big crowds for those games,” Cirovski said.
Cirovski then grinned and added, “I’ll cut them some slack tonight and I’ll see them on Friday.”
The victory improves Maryland’s record to 2-3-1, a step in the right direction as the squad gets ready to take on Wisconsin this Friday in an important Big Ten matchup.
For more updates on Maryland soccer, follow Seba Obando @Sgo96