Maryland men’s soccer blanks Rutgers in win, remains undefeated

Maryland men's soccer
Photo courtesy of UMTerps.com

By: Brittney Bridges

The Maryland Terrapins looked to get back in scoring mode on Tuesday night at Ludwig Field. They took on a 1-3-1 Rutgers team after a competitive game against then-No. 7 Indiana.

The match against the Hoosiers brought in an impressive crowd of 6,900 fans but left everyone wanting one thing: a goal.

Fans hoped to get just that in this match against the Scarlet Knights, as the Terps earned a 3-0 win.

The turnout was no UCLA or Indiana game but still was admirable. Rutgers has had a remarkably challenging schedule early in the season, which included matchups against then-No. 2 Wake Forest and No. 10 North Carolina. The Scarlet Knights lost those two games by deficits of four and five.

While most spectators believed this game would be one-sided, the score at halftime was tied 0-0. The Terrapins had 11 shot attempts in the first half while the Scarlet Knights had just two. Perhaps what fans were also hoping to see was junior Gordon Wild finally get going offensively.

Wild has struggled this season despite two of his three goals this season coming on penalty kicks. When asked about his struggles after the game, Wild said that head coach Sasho Cirovski reminded him to get back what he knows.

“That’s [inside the box] where I’m most successful,” Wild said. “I needed to try and occupy that space some more.”

It wasn’t until the 52nd minute of the game when offense was delivered. Wild scored a simple kick from the right side of the penalty box. The assists were given to Eryk Williamson and Jake Rozhansky.

From that point, it was all Terrapins. Gordon Wild scored again in the 59th minute as the Scarlet Knights buckled under the defensive pressure. Wild finished off the short pass from senior Jake Rozhansky for his 5th goal of the season. Ludwig Field went up in arms. Wild gave all the credit to his team and their ability to bounce back from Indiana.

“I feel like we just went out today and had fun together and tried to play as a team,” the Germany native said. “We took the game against Indiana pretty much as a loss,”

The momentum was in Maryland’s favor with a few other players trying to get on the board including Sebastian Elney, Amar Sejdic, Eryk Williamson and Eric Matzelevich — they had three shot attempts each.

In the 83rd minute, the Terrapins sealed the deal by scoring again when sophomore transfer Eli Crognale shot from long distance after he noticed Rutgers’ goalie Rafael Pereira way out of position. Pereira was out around the 12-yard line when Crognale sent it flying in the upper left-hand corner.

Though the offense didn’t come alive until the second half, Cirovski still referred to this game as improvement. His focus was mainly on the defense, which haven’t given up a goal in the past three games.

“It was good to see the team tighten up our defensive spacing and our compactness,” Cirovski said. “It was a good bounce back performance from Friday’s disappointing performance,”

The Maryland Terrapins finished the game in their usual composed fashion with a final score of 3-0 and an attempted 25 shots. They improve to 5-0-1 and will begin their road trip next weekend when they play at Penn State this Sunday at 5 p.m.

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