By Christopher Rogers-Spatuzzi
Maryland forward George Campbell didn’t hesitate at all. With a swift, fluid right foot motion, he kicked the ball from just outside the goal box. It sailed into the back of the net and the home crowd erupted. Campbell, a freshman, had just scored his first collegiate goal, giving the Terps a 1-0 lead over Santa Clara in the second half on Saturday night. They went on to score two more times en route to a 3-1 victory over the visiting Broncos.
Maryland was aggressive to start the game, with two corner kicks in the first two minutes, but they couldn’t manage to score. The Broncos and Terps both put a lot of pressure on their opposition, and after nine shots on goal between the two teams, it was tied at the end of the first half.
But despite their first half struggles, the Terps came on strong in the second half, which led to their victory.
“This was one of those tough games that you have to find a way to win when you’re not at your best,” head coach Sacho Cirovski said after the game. “But I thought in the second half we came out with a lot of quality.”
The key to their win was a twenty minute span during which Maryland scored three times, on shots by Campbell, Jeremy Raley, and Mael Corboz.
Raley knocked in the Terps second goal in the 72nd- minute after a corner kick from Tsubasa Endoh.
The third shot came with 12:45 left in the game, when Campbell was able to wiggle around defenders and appeared to have an open shot at the goal. However, he was tripped by a Bronco defender, setting up a free kick from 25 yards out by Corboz that sailed into the goal untouched.
Santa Clara managed to sneak a goal past the Terrapin defense with 7:16 left, but by that point, it was too late for a comeback and Maryland held on to win their fifth straight game after a rocky start to the year.
“We don’t like the fact that we were doing poorly in the beginning,” Campbell said, “but now we’re rolling. We finally figured it out.” He went on to say that their recent success is a big confidence booster for the team as they gear up for the playoffs.
This improves Maryland to 8-5-2 on the year, with three games left before the playoffs. Their next game is on Tuesday, Oct. 28 at home against Hartwick College.