By: Max Marcilla
Gordon Wild sprinted up the right side and with one powerful shot off his left leg, gave the No. 1 ranked Maryland Terrapins a lead they would not surrender.
The Terps (12-0-2), would hold on to the 2-1 lead and defeat the American Eagles by that score, extending their undefeated streak to 19 games.
Although Maryland clinched a Big Ten regular season championship with an overtime win against Wisconsin four days ago, Cirovski made sure the team played with its same intensity against the non-conference foe.
“It was a great game; had the feel of a local derby,” head coach Sasho Cirovski said. “At the end of the day, this was always going to be a very difficult game for us. I’m proud of the team that we found the resolve and the quality to come out on top.”
Cirovski continued: “The games are coming fast and furious and we’re getting everybody’s ‘A game’ every time. Therefore, we have to come up with the same effort to match that.”
Maryland struck first on sophomore midfielder Amar Sejdic’s sixth goal of the season. The Terps’ second leading scorer fired a strike into the right corner of the net from outside the box.
“[Sejdic] has scored a number of goals like that,” said Cirovski. “That’s not the first great goal he’s scored from that area. He’s got that in his game.”
A Chris Fanet goal kept the Eagles close for a while, and the 1-1 score remained until Wild’s highlight-reel strike.
“Once I saw that I wasn’t offside, I already knew that I would cut on my left foot,” Wild said. “I tried to shake him a little bit to get some space, and thankfully it worked.”
It was another gutsy win from the Terps, who are 6-0 in one goal games, including four wins in overtime.
“I think it’s a highly resilient group,” Cirovski said. “We’ve bounced back so many times I’ve probably lost count. I do think we probably need to get a little more of a killer instinct and a little bit more malice in our attack. But we’ve always found ways to respond and today was another situation.”
American gave the Terps one final scare on a shot from Panos Nakhid, which goalkeeper Cody Niedermeier was able to stop to preserve the Maryland lead.
“[I tried to] cut the angle as much as I can, get big, and hopefully it hits me and doesn’t go in,” Niedermeier said. “Panos is a good player, I played with him this summer with U23s. He’s got that burst of speed, so I knew as soon as he took a touch, I had to go.”
The Terrapins will host Hofstra (8-5-1) on Friday night at Ludwig Field. The Hofstra Pride has dropped all three contests to ranked opponents this season.