By Eddie Hobbs
Maryland (1-0-0) started off its season on the west coast as it took on Santa Clara (0-0-1). The Terps looked shaky to start off the match, giving up a goal in the first few minutes. After a free kick from Santa Clara failed to be cleared, the ball bounced right to Santa Clara midfielder Brandon Gillingham who shot the ball into the left side of the net, giving the Broncos the early 1-0 lead.
The Terps were holding possession well throughout the first half, but the Broncos were the enforcers in the beginning of this one. It seemed that Maryland’s new back line was failing to stop Santa Clara from doing what it wanted offensively.
Things started to change halfway through the first half as Maryland started to create more opportunities.
In the 27th minute, Eryk Williamson was able to corral the ball off a rebound from the Santa Clara keeper Dakota Havlick. After Williamson controlled of the ball, he delivered a shot past Havlick off the crossbar and into the goal to tie the game at 1-1.
Maryland would continue its offensive onslaught as it would score two more goals before the end of the first half. In the 36th minute freshman forward Eric Matzelevich was substituted in for Sebastian Elney, and Matzelevich made his presence felt as soon as he came into the match. Jake Rozhansky delivered a nice assist to Matzelivich who put the ball in the back of the net to give Maryland its first lead, 2-1.
Two minutes after Rozhansky assisted on a goal, he got one of his own on an assist from Eryk Williamson. Maryland had numbers as they were on a breakaway, Williamson was on the left side of the field while Rozhansky was on the opposite side. Williamson put a great through ball past the defenders and Rozhansky did the rest to give Maryland a 3-1 lead to end the half.
At the end of the first period Maryland had seven shots with five on goal while Santa Clara had seven shots with four on goal. One of the biggest takeaways of the game was the 37 fouls committed by Santa Clara. This made the game much more intense than anticipated, as players on both teams jawed at each other throughout the game. Amar Sejdic even shoved one of the Santa Clara players after a tough tackle at mid field.
The second half provided fewer highlights, as neither team could set a tone until the 78th minute. Maryland was called for a foul and Santa Clara defender Valdemar Andersen scored off a free kick just outside of the box to bring the game within one.
In the 87th minute the Terps put the nail in the coffin as Rohzanski scored his second goal of the night. Maryland got a great interception at midfield and got the ball around the box, Sebastian Elney made a great pass to Rozhansky who was set up on the left side of the goal for an easy shot.
Maryland is still trying to gel together as a team as it has new players throughout the field. The offense created great opportunities and was able to capitalize on many of them, but the back end still has some work to do.
The Terps will be playing their first regular season home game against Hofstra on Aug. 28th and then will face off against No. 21 UCLA Fri, Sept. 1.
Photo courtesy of UMTerps.com