Maryland men’s soccer hosts Ohio State for home opener

(Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics.)

Maryland’s men’s soccer (0-1 B1G) returns to the pitch at Ludwig Field hosting Ohio State (0-1 B1G) on Saturday at 2 p.m. 

Redshirt sophomore defender Ryan Blumberg has been ruled out for the match due to injury. Meanwhile, senior forward Eric Matzelevich is listed as day-to-day, head Coach Sasho Cirovski said.   

In the season opener, Maryland gave up three goals in the first half against Penn State. The Terps played much better in the second half scoring two goals. However, the early deficit was too much as they fell to the Nittany Lions 3-2. 

Maryland is excited to return home hosting a game at Ludwig Field for the first time since Nov. 21 2019 against Iona.

“We’re very excited to play at Ludwig this Saturday, excited to play outdoors,” Cirovski said. “And looking forward to getting off to a better start than we did against Penn State and looking forward to the game. We’ve had a good week of preparation.”

“Ludwig’s my favorite place to play in all of college soccer,” sophomore midfielder Malcolm Johnston said. “Just because of the quality of grass, the atmosphere even without the fans. You just get the feeling that it’s a very good place to place to play soccer.”

Saturday’s match will also be the first outdoors for the Terps as the season opener against the Nittany Lions was played on field turf inside at Holuba Hall. One of the biggest positives from the first match of the season was the play of the freshmen.

“They were guns blazing from day one,” Johnston said of the freshmen. “The freshmen will have a big role.” 

The matinee matchup against Ohio State will be the last ever in a Maryland uniform for senior defender Ben Di Rosa. Di Rosa was allowed to play the first two games of the season with the Terps, after the start of the MLS season was pushed back. He’ll be joining New York City FC.

“Matt and Ben were my official visit hosts,” Johnston said. “They were among a lot of reasons why I decided to join Maryland.” 

For the Buckeyes, they suffered a 3-0 defeat against Indiana in the season opener. Despite the lopsided scoreline, Cirovski still knows the Buckeyes are a capable squad.

“They are an improved team,” Cirovski said. “First half against Indiana was even.” 

In 2019, Ohio State finished 7-11-1, as it struggled in conference with a 1-6-1 record.

However, Saturday will be an opportunity for the Buckeyes to show their improvement and the Terps to pick up their first win of the season in DiRosa’ last contest and their first home game in over a year.

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