Penalty Struggles Loom In Maryland Men’s Soccer’s Fourth-Straight Loss

Photo by Mackenzie Miles/Maryland Terrapins

Kimani Stewart-Baynes stepped up to the ball in the 62nd minute, with the Terps trailing, 2-1. Stewart-Baynes was the fourth Maryland player to take a penalty kick this season, all the others had been unsuccessful in putting the ball in the net.

Stewart-Baynes made his run up to the ball and kicked with his right foot. The kick was sent towards the right post, but ended up far right of the post. The Terps failed to convert on a penalty kick for the fourth time this season.

“Once again we missed an opportunity on a penalty kick to put ourselves in a better position to win,” head coach Sasho Cirovski said. “I’m a little speechless.”

Maryland lost its fourth-straight game against Rutgers, 2-1, Tuesday night at Ludwig field. It’s the first time since 2017 that Maryland lost four consecutive games. The Terps had 20 shots in the game, 11 on target. 

Maryland created more chances to score in the second half, but none of the nine shots found netting. Max Riley’s header in the 67th minute hit the post and Stefan Copetti’s shot in the 76th minute fell victim to a diving save by Rutgers’ keeper Ciaran Dalton. It was one of Dalton’s ten saves of the evening. 

“Unfortunately we keep having goalkeepers come in here and have the game of their lives. But you have to give the young man credit he made three tremendous saves for them,” said Cirovski. 

Maryland controlled most of the action to start the game, spending most of its time in the attacking zone. Rutgers’ defense handled the pressure, turning away the Maryland offense creating a counter attack for senior forward Ola Maeland. 

Maeland faced Maryland keeper Jamie Lowell one on one and fired a shot left of Lowell. The shot hit the post and came back to forward following his shot. Maeland shot again this time hitting netting, giving Rutgers the early lead. 

Rutgers’ lead grew just minutes later off the foot of sophomore forward Ian Abbey. Abbey had received the ball after Lowell turned away Matthew Acosta’s shot. Lowell batted away Acosta’s offering and Abbey sent it right to the back of the net. 

The Terps responded in the 32nd minute via the left foot of Max Riley. Riley positioned right outside the box received a pass from forward Colin Griffith. Riley blasted the ball with his left foot, passed the outstretched arms of Dalton, right to the bottom left of the goal. 

“Sash [Sasho] told us when we have to come in and I mean to make a difference, try to make one before halftime,” Riley said. “We haven’t been scoring the past four games, so it’s like our job to put it in the back of the net.”

The Terps’ first goal since September 14 against Michigan, sent Maryland into halftime down by one. 

The Terrapins record falls to 1-6-2 on the season and 0-4-1 in conference play. It’s the first time Maryland has lost four conference games since 2018. 

Maryland will have a two-game break from Big Ten play. The Terps next game will be Saturday against Bowling Green and after that they will face Villanova. Both will be played at Ludwig. 

“Now we’re just going to fight to make sure we can have an opportunity in the Big Ten Tournament to make things right,” said Cirovski.