By Eddie Hobbs
Maryland (10-2-3, 5-0-2 B1G) was dominated by VCU (8-4, 5-1 A10) in Tuesday night’s 3-0 loss. The Maryland men’s soccer team had a lot to think about before this game. The Terrapins had lost two games in a row for the first time since 2014 and had trouble scoring in losses to Georgetown and Coastal Carolina.
The Terrapins had a few missing pieces from the starting lineup tonight. Instead of going with leading goal scorer Eryk Williamson at the midfielder position, Jorge Calix took that starting role tonight. Head coach Sasho Cirovski noted after the Coastal Carolina game, where Williamson only played 37 minutes, that the midfielder was exhausted and didn’t have much in the tank. Defender Chase Gasper missed his third straight game with a hamstring injury, and reserve Matt Di Rosa took his place.
Both teams started out slow early on. Maryland held possession and looked more comfortable in the opening minutes against VCU than in its game against Coastal Carolina. The Rams hold teams to about one goal per game, so Maryland recognized that being aggressive throughout the game is important.
Sebastian Elney had a look at the goal 19 minutes in. Di Rosa put a through ball down the near side of the field. The ball deflected off a Rams’ defender and Elney was able to collect the ball, and he maneuvered around a defender just outside of the box. He shot the ball towards the near post and it hit the bar square to continue Maryland’s scoreless streak.
VCU got on the board in the 22nd minute thanks to Rafael Santos who put the ball perfectly over Dayne St. Clair from outside the box for the early 1-0 lead.
Maryland had many chances in the first half, but did not capitalize on those opportunities. Be it shots wide of the goal, being offside, or just lack of focus, the Terrapins could not get on the board.
“I thought we had a great response after last Friday’s game. I thought our effort was very good throughout the game, there is so much I liked that I saw” Cirovski said. “Unfortunately, this is a strange game and VCU was incredibly efficient in their chances. They had some outstanding plays throughout the game.”
Just before the end of the half, VCU had possession in the final third of Maryland’s end of the field. Ben Di Rosa looked to lose his man on the near side of the field, and Siad Haji put a low cross towards the far post and Rafael Santos had an easy shot to put the Rams up 2-0.
In the 57th minute, the backline for Maryland could not keep Rafael Santos from delivering a perfect pass to Francesco Amorosino, who shot the ball into the top shelf, and the lead for the Rams extended to 3-0.
Maryland had a few opportunities in the second half. A shot by Williamson was saved by Amorosino in the 65th minute, and the Terps kept possession. Reeves put the ball back into the box, the ball bounced around to the six-yard box where Rozhansky put the ball into the back of the net, but the referee called offside negating the momentum swinging goal.
In the 80th minute Elney looked to have a goal, but it was taken off the board due to a player being offside.
“It’s difficult, obviously we aren’t getting results that we are used to and it’s a very difficult time,” Maryland forward Gordon Wild said. “At the same time this is not the end of the season, we have a very important game Sunday against Michigan to finish out the season. We need to find a switch to turn this losing streak around.”
VCU finished off the Terps and handed Maryland its third straight loss. Maryland will look to finish out the season strong against No. 19 Michigan Sunday afternoon before heading to Big Ten Tournament play.