Maryland men’s soccer blanks Michigan State

Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

By Jacob Hunting

Maryland men’s soccer rebounded from a tough loss last match and blanked the Michigan State Spartans, 1-0, on the team’s senior night. The Terrapin defense held the Spartans’ offense shotless the entire match.

The Terrapins, coming off an upset loss to the High Point Panthers, played to their standard against the Spartans.

 “That was exactly the response that we had hoped to get. Defensively that was our most disciplined 90 minutes of the year.” said Head Coach Sasho Cirovski.

No. 8 Maryland came out firing, with its first shot attempt going just wide less than a minute into the game by Hunter George. The Terps would get another chance in the sixth minute when Luca Costabile earned a free kick, and William Kulvik sent his header high.

George would take Maryland’s first corner of the game in the 13th minute when he sent one into the box to be played by Griffin Dillion and Chris Rindov before Kulvik found the ball to finish the goal on the back post. Griffin Dillon and Chris Rindov were awarded assists on the eventual game-winning goal. 

For Kulvik, the goal means bouncing back from an own goal that he suffered the last match against High Point.

 “I had to rebound from last game. It’s an unfortunate play against High Point, “ said Kulvik. “That’s nothing I think about for a long time … scoring the goal today just a lot better off than the own goal last game,”

Maryland controlled the ball for most of the first half, but after scoring their first goal, they failed to register another shot until the 37th minute when Dillion put a ball on frame off a free kick. The Terps had another f chance less than two minutes later, but Spartan keeper Owen Finnerty made two excellent stops to keep the game 1-0. 

Maryland’s defense was stout all half preventing Michigan State from taking a shot in the first half and taking the 1-0 lead into the halftime locker room that would eventually hold. Maryland controlled possession for 54% of the game and outshot MSU 13-0.

After the halftime break, the ball remained in the middle of the field as neither team established possession and create chances. Maryland’s Stefan Copetti had an open chance following a  backheel pass from Joshua Bolma, but Copetti’s chance was stopped by Finnerty.

Finnerty continued his strong play in the second half, making a tough save on a rocket of a shot from the top of the box by Griffin Dillion and would finish with seven saves on the game. 

“We keep making goalkeepers have the game of their lives here, so we need to start getting better at that.” said Cirovski.

Michigan State would never get an opportunity to tie the game as several runs into the box were turned away by the Maryland defensive lines. Maryland’s backline bounced back in this match after a rough outing against High Point, where they had an own goal that aided in their 2-1 defeat. Michigan State did not record a shot. 

Maryland can clinch the Big Ten regular season title during their match against Indiana on October 30th in Bloomington. The Terrapins have not won the Big Ten regular season title since 2016.