By Shourjya Mookerjee
After two lengthy double-overtime games in a row resulted in draws, the Maryland men’s soccer came out against Northwestern guns a-blazing. The Terps’ 3-0 regulation win over the Wildcats was their biggest since their last home game against Rutgers on Sept. 12.
Junior forward Sebastian Elney started off the scoring for the No. 3 Terps (7-0-3, 3-0-2 Big Ten) in the 20th minute of play, before Jake Rozhansky’s sliding finish doubled the advantage six minutes before halftime. In the second half, Amar Sejdic converted from the spot to make it 3-0.
This was a big win for Maryland. After only drawing two games in the entirety of the 2016 regular season, the Terps drew their third game of the year on Tuesday. This, however, was a statement win by all accounts.
“The turnaround, in a short time frame, after a tough match at UMBC on Tuesday was a concern going in, but I thought our guys handled it extremely well,” Maryland head coach Sasho Cirovski said. “I thought we were crisp with the ball, and we were very quick to recover the ball when we lost it.”
Maryland looked extremely comfortable in possession tonight. Through the first 13 minutes, the Wildcats had kept the ball for less than a minute. While that intensity eased off in the later stages of the game, it never looked like Northwestern would get back into the game after conceding their first goal.
Elney’s goal was his third of the season and the first Maryland’s first half goal since its Labor Day tie against Cal Poly on Sept. 4. The goal came after a shot from Sejdic bounced off Wildcats goalkeeper Robbie White. Elney, remaining vigilant, pounced on the rebound from an offside position to put the Terps up 1-0.
Roughly 20 minutes later, Junior midfielder Jake Rozhansky slid feet-first to convert D.J. Reeves cross from the endline on the right side of the penalty area. Maryland entered halftime with a comfortable lead for the first time in weeks.
In the second half, the Terps eased off on the attack and let their chances come to them. Five minutes into the half, Junior forward Gordon Wild was tackled in the box to set up Amar Sejdic’s penalty kick. The midfielder’s tidy finish gave Maryland its largest lead since its win over Rutgers.
“When we have a smile on our face and a positive approach to the game, that’s what you see on the field,” Sejdic said. “That’s one thing we need to keep doing consistently.”
Maryland finished with 17 shots, with an astounding 13 shots on goal; Northwestern posted only two shots, and one shot on goal. White posted 13 saves for Northwestern, while Terps goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair only needed to record one save to keep the Wildcats at bay.
The Terps are right back on the road for their upcoming match against the Connecticut Huskies on Monday. They’ll then travel to Big Ten rivals Ohio State and Wisconsin, before coming back home on Oct. 17 to face the Georgetown Hoyas in a heated local rivalry match.