COLLEGE PARK, MD - - In front of a raucous crowd of 6,562 at Ludwig Field in College Park, Maryland's men soccer team settled for a 2-2 draw with UCLA after 90 minutes of regulation and two ten-minute sudden death overtime periods.
Maryland dominated most of the game, outshooting the Bruins 22-9, but were unable to grab the crucial victory thanks to a strong effort on defense by the Bruins, led by All-American Matt Wiet and junior Joe Sofia.
UCLA opened up the scoring in the eighth minute, when all-conference midfielder Ryan Hollingshead took a long throw in outside of the box and flicked a header towards the right side, where Reed Williams caught up to the ball and slotted it past goalie Keith Cardona for the 1-0 game. It was Williams' first goal of the season.
Maryland got one back immediately, when Patrick Mullins stole the ball from Wiet outside the left side of the box and crossed it in. The ball picked up a touch from John Stertzer, rolling past goalie Juan Cervantes and heading right to the foot of Dan Metzger, who cooly scored his second goal of the year to tie it up.
In the fourteenth minute, UCLA took the lead back, with slick passing from Victor Muñoz and Fernando Monge leading to another Williams goal. The two goals were almost cheap in nature, catching Maryland off guard with some lucky ounces, but the credit goes to Williams for slotting both of them home.
"You're never happy with a tie at home, but that was a very good team that we played tonight," coach Sasho Cirovski said. "And I thought we gave up a couple of soft goals, some opportunistic goals, and they took them well on the first two chances."
Throughout the first half, Maryland dominated possession, and saw stellar defensive efforts from London Woodberry and Taylor Kemp despite the 2-1 deficit. The Terps struggled to get offensive movement going, but that would change in the second half.
Woodberry was arguably the most dominant Terrapin on the night, helping anchor the backline and piling up the stats sheet with plenty of tackles and clearances (more on that in our match ratings). The leadership from the two seniors helped keep the defense together after the early lapses.
"We just had to stay calm," Woodberry said. "First off, we're not used to giving up early goals like that, so we just had to gather everybody as a team together and say 'we're not giving up any more goals' and 'we just have to stay more tuned in'."
In the second half, Maryland's offense began to open up. Freshman striker Schillo Tshuma started to make some runs, and the entrance of Jereme Raley caused some serious problems for the Bruins' defense.
In the 68th minute, it finally paid dividends for Maryland. Tshuma was brought down in the box by Monge and Joe Sofia, and John Stertzer buried the penalty to tie the game, 2-2. After the game, the midfielder spoke of his mentality in the box.
"I always have confidence in myself when I take a penalty," Stertzer said. "My teammates have confidence in me, they give me the confidence to go up and take it. I know what I have to do when I get up there, and luckily enough I was able to score tonight."
The Terps almost scored the winner in the 73rd, when a Raley header met the head of Jake Pace, who flicked it just over the net.
After two assists and a great performance against Louisville last week, Sunny Jane was unable to get much going for the Terps. Cirovski wasn't disheartened by the performance, and said he expects the midfielder to bounce back later this weekend.
"Sunny had an off-day today," Cirovski said. "I think he just never got into the flow and sometimes you have that. I'm sure he'll be better on Sunday."
The first sudden-death overtime period was decidedly dull, with Maryland outshooting the Bruins 1-0. The second period wasn't all that much better, with UCLA outshooting the Terps 3-2.
Maryland faces another Pac-12 team, California, at home on Sunday. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Now, for some match ratings, complete with some rough stats taken by me. Feel free to disagree in the comments.
Keith Cardona, GK - 6. He let the two goals in early, but played a solid rest of the game, with two saves.
Taylor Kemp, DL - 8. Kemp was everywhere for the Terps, with three tackles, two key passes, one run, one shot, and one good clearance. He was more of an attacking presence in this game than he was against Louisville, and helped bring the defense together after the early slip-ups.
London Woodberry, DC - 9. Woodberry made seven tackles and five clearances, game-highs in both categories, and was undoubtedly the anchor of the Terps' defense. He had one slip up, but Cardona was thankfully there to save the day.
Dakota Edwards, DC - 6. Edwards had two clearances, and that's about it. He got beat a few times, but didn't make any major mistakes.
Mikey Ambrose, DR - 7. Ambrose had four tackles, one run, and one shot, and continued to show his great pace from the back. He's got some work to do defensively, but he looks like a promising prospect that could move up to the midfield or the wing.
Helge Leikvang, MC - 7. Leikvang had a great first half, but didn't make as much of an impact in the second as the Terps switched to a more attacking style of play. He finished with three tackles and two key passes.
Dan Metzger, MC - 7. Metzger scored the first goal for Maryland, but didn't do much beyond that. He had one key pass and two tackles, and sat out the second half with a knock He ended up coming back in overtime with some good defensive work.
Sunny Jane, AML - 5. Compared to his explosive performance against Louisville, Jane was extremely tame against the Bruins. He made one good pass (and one bad one), made only one run, and had one tackle.
Patrick Mullins, AMR - 6. Mullins looked better than he did against Louisville, making two key passes, three runs, taking two shots and making a key clearance, but there were still a few mistakes up top for the star.
John Stertzer, AMC - 7. A goal and an assist, and a solid performance in general.
Schillo Tshuma, ST - 8. Tshuma is incredibly raw but undeniably just as talented. He had six runs, four shots, and an assist. Two of those shots were ill-advised, and he made a poor pass, but it was still an electrifying performance.
Tsubasa Endoh, MC - N/A. The Tokyo native made his debut, but wasn't on the field long enough to make a huge impact.
Jereme Raley, MC - 7. Raley helped spur on the Terps' attack in the second half, and had one key pass and one shot.
Mikias Eticha, MC - 6. Eticha had a tackle and a shot, with one key pass balanced against a poor one.
Jake Pace, ST - 7. Pace didn't play much, but his size adds such a different dimension to the game. He's always a danger to head one in, and almost did so late in the second half.
Christian Francois, AML - 6. Francois made a few exciting runs, but nothing that turned into anything tangible.
Kyle Roach, DR - N/A. Played for a few minutes in overtime.
Alex Shinsky, ST - N/A. Played for a few minutes in overtime.