Maryland men’s soccer tops UCLA in thrilling overtime match

Maryland men's soccer

By: Shourjya Mookerjee

Ninety minutes were not enough for the Maryland men’s soccer team, whose 3-2 overtime win over No. 15 UCLA (1-1-0) on Friday night was a worthy follow-up to the last matchup between the two schools — a double-OT thriller in 2015.

Maryland’s Sebastian Elney, whose header won it for Maryland two years ago, converted the winner yet again, thanks to an inch-perfect pass from midfielder Jake Rozhansky. Elney’s 98th-minute strike keeps the Terps undefeated.

Junior forward Gordon Wild’s penalty broke the scoreless tie in the 56th minute of play to give No. 6 Maryland (3-0-0) the 1-0 lead. Wild himself started the play with a lofted ball towards midfielder Amar Sejdic. Sejdic darted into the box from the left side, and his cross was met by UCLA defender Matthew Powell’s hand for the foul.

With 22 minutes left to play, the Terps were pegged back by a set-piece goal from the Bruins. The equalizer followed a scrum off a UCLA corner kick, which was first banged off the crossbar by Bruins defender Brandon Terwege. The rebound fell neatly in front of defender Erik Holt, whose squared shot froze Maryland goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair.

Just five minutes later, freshman forward Eric Matzelevich volleyed home midfielder Eryk Williamson’s tidy reverse-pass to restore Maryland’s one-goal lead. The move was started by midfielder Jake Rozhansky, who threw the ball into Williamson. It was Matzelevich’s second goal of the season.

UCLA’s redshirt senior Brian Iloski converted yet another set-piece goal, his third of the season, in the 79th minute to tie game up at two and force overtime.

“This was a really hard-nosed, highly competitive college soccer game,” head coach Sasho Cirovski said. “I’m extremely proud of our team, that once again, we found the quality and character to come out on top.”

That was where Elney displayed the same heroics he showed two years ago, against the same team, on the same field.

Maryland head coach Sasho Cirovski fielded a nearly unchanged lineup from Monday’s 2-0 win over Hofstra. Sophomore center-back Miles Stray started in place of the 6-foot-4 sophomore Donovan Pines.

The Terps entered halftime scoreless, but with a strong 7-1 advantage in shots. Wild forced a lone save off Bruins’ goalkeeper Kevin Silva.

The first 45 minutes set the stage for the type of match this would be. Between the Terps and the Bruins, 16 fouls were committed, including a nasty exchange between UCLA’s junior midfielder Anderson Asiedu and Maryland’s Amar Sejdic. Both received yellow cards for their conduct.

Maryland’s Andrew Samuels suffered a serious injury with just under 20 minutes left to play in regulation.

Maryland finished ahead on shots, 19-9, and shots on goal, 8-5. St. Clair recorded three saves, while Silva finished with five. A total of 27 fouls were committed by the two teams. The Terps ended the game with four corners to UCLA’s two.

“At the end of the day, we love playing each other. It’s a good rivalry. It’s good for the game of soccer,” Elney said.

The Terps continue their five-game home stand on Monday. Maryland will face Cal Poly at 7 p.m. at Ludwig Field to cap off Labor Day weekend.

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