Maryland men’s soccer can’t break through, draw with Michigan

Photo by University of Maryland Athletics

Luca Costabile cut off the pass intended for a Michigan player on the left side. Costabile got control of the ball and kicked the ball upfield for Stefan Copetti. Copetti raced down the left side and as he neared the box dumped a pass to Luke van Heukelum. Van Heukelum with a defender closing in, kicked the ball to the middle of the net and past the keeper.

Van Heukelum’s first collegiate goal put the Terps ahead in the first half, 2-1, but an equalizing goal in the second half by Michigan tied the game. 

Maryland Men’s Soccer tied Michigan, 2-2, in the teams’ Big Ten opener at Ludwig Field. 

The equalizer came in the 62nd minute off the left foot of Bryce Blevins. Blevins received the ball at the top of the box and took one dribble to the left. Blevins lined up the shot with his left foot hitting the top of the net with his shot, the only goal in the second half.

The Maryland offense had more opportunities in the second half, but couldn’t put any of them in the back of the net. The Terps doubled their amount of shots in the second half (five in the first to ten in the second) putting three of them on target.

“I think that like in that situation, we get that second goal then we get broken out here and then they drop us back, so like the whole team is dropping back,” said Alex Nitzl. “And then like it’s tough sometimes to find the trigger to go into our full press again and that’s where we got to learn. We got to get better at [it].”

Despite the second-half struggles, the game was the Terps’ second time scoring two goals in a game this season, the other being their win against UNC Greensboro. In that game, it was goals from Joe Suchecki and Kimani Stewart-Baynes that put the Terps on top. 

Stewart-Baynes was on the assisting side of Maryland’s first goal tonight when he lined up for a free kick and passed the ball into the box. The ball found the right foot of Kenny Quist-Therson who kicked the ball to the bottom left of the net. The freshman’s first collegiate goal tied the game, 1-1.

“I think it’s just two good finishes, especially from young guys,” said Jamie Lowell. 

Quist-Therson’s goal was a response to the Wolverines’ opening goal in the 13th minute when a pass from midfielder Quin Rogers squeaked by the Maryland backline. Michael Leon touched the ball at the edge of the box on the right side with a Maryland defender running to meet him. Leon struck with his left foot, sending the ball to the bottom left of the net and putting Michigan ahead. 

“We can’t have our [defensive] backs give away those kinds of goals,” said head coach Sasho Cirovski. “Give away a breakaway in the first twelve minutes of the game, you put yourself in a hole.”

The tie breaks a stretch of three consecutive victories for Maryland against Michigan. The Terps’ record now stands at 1-2-2 on the season. They will take on Penn State on Tuesday in University Park, Pennsylvania.