By: Max Marcilla
The No. 1 Maryland Men’s Soccer team was able to shake a slow start to defeat San Diego 2-0, extending its winning streak to five games. The non-conference win propels the Terrapins to 8-0-2 on the season entering the final month of the regular season.
“I think our team today got a little tougher,” head coach Sasho Cirovski said. “I think San Diego pushed us and we responded well.”
It took the Terps a little while to get going offensively, but in the 41st minute, sophomore D.J. Reeves found the back of the net with his first career goal. The strike from five yards out broke the scoreless, and gave the Terps a lead they would not surrender.
“Last year I struggled with injuries, concussions, my ankles, all stuff like that,” Reeves said. “But when you get your opportunity, [Cirovski] always stresses to go out there and make a difference. That’s just what I tried to do.”
Reeves, the Ashton, Md. native, leads the Big Ten in assists and has been an integral part of the Terps’ bench.
“I think it’s always good to help your teammates score,” Reeves said. “But it’s a lot of weight that’s off my shoulders now that I finally got my first goal.”
Reeves wasn’t done contributing offensively, as his play in the offensive zone led to a penalty shot for the Terps in the second half. Amar Sejdic converted the chance to extend the Maryland lead to 2-0.
“I thought D.J. Reeves and George Campbell changed the game today,” Cirovski said. “I thought they both came in with some great energy on the attacking side of the ball, but I thought their work defensively was especially good today.”
Led by goalkeeper Cody Niedermeier, the Terps held their opponent scoreless for the third consecutive game. An astonishing 285 minutes of game time has passed since Maryland last gave up a goal.
“I thought Cody did a great job organizing the back line,” Cirovski said. “When you get a shutout, and you play well defensively, it’s a team effort.”
The matchup with San Diego was a nice break for the Terrapins, who had played five consecutive games against Big Ten opponents dating back to September 9th. But Cirovski stressed the importance of a win regardless of which club the Terps face.
“San Diego came to play,” Cirovski said. “They are a hard-pressing, aggressive, very direct team. I thought they competed extremely hard.”
Maryland (8-0-2, 4-0-1 Big Ten) will look to extend its five game winning streak on Monday when it hosts the 3-8-0 Ohio State Buckeyes at Ludwig Field.