By Christopher Rogers-Spatuzzi
A strong comeback by the Terrapins was not enough to overcome a weak first half as Maryland fell to the visiting Akron Zips, 3-2, Monday night for their first loss of the year.
Coming off a 2-1 overtime win over No. 1 ranked UCLA Friday, the Terrapins struggled early on in Monday’s contest. They couldn’t seem to maintain possession of the ball as they had against the Bruins, and they couldn’t seem to hold off Akron’s attack.
Akron got on the board first, in the 21st minute, when Adam Najem scored from 13 yards out on the assist by Richie Laryea. They extended their lead in the 38th minute after Laryea scored from 19 yards. Meanwhile, the Terps put little pressure on the Akron defense, as they took five shots, but none were close enough to be saved by the goalkeeper.
The best opportunity Maryland had came in the 40th minute, when freshman Connor Smith took a shot that hit off the right goalpost, just inches from going in. However, the Terps couldn’t capitalize on this, and they went to halftime down 2-0.
“I was concerned about a letdown today, and we had one in the first half,” Maryland coach Sacho Cirovski said after the game. “[Akron] put in a great effort in the first, and we were just one step too slow, one too pass too slow.”
After a rough first 45 minutes, the Terrapins came out stronger to open the second half, completing more passes and attacking Akron’s defense much more aggressively.
Mael Corboz’s corner kick in the 66th minute set up Maryland’s first goal. Sebastian Enley got his head on the corner kick and knocked it toward the goal. Initially it looked like Akron keeper Jake Fenlason stopped it, but he did so after it crossed the line, so the goal counted, and Maryland got on the board.
Less than a minute later, the Terps had another golden opportunity to score, but Mael Corboz’s shot missed just above the crossbar, and the score remained 2-1 in Akron’s favor.
After a miscue by Maryland keeper Dayne St. Clair allowed Laryea to score Akron’s third goal of the game, David Kabelik’s goal again brought the Terps within one.
But despite their second half resurgence, the Terps couldn’t muster a third goal, and their comeback ended up being too little too late as they fell to Akron, 3-2.
“After halftime, we tried to stay positive, we tried to come out with a little more energy, and it showed a little bit, but it was too late,” Corboz said. “The important thing now is to move on, obviously we have to learn from this loss, and we have to win Friday night.”
With the loss, the Terps fall to 2-1-1 on the season. They’ll look to rebound Friday at home in their first Big Ten game of the season against Michigan.