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Men's soccer comeback effort falls short as Wake Forest downs Terps 4-3

Maryland yields four goals in a home loss to the opportunistic Wake Forest Demon Deacons while failing to take full advantage of their own chances.

One of the advantages of writing a blog is that it's permissible to eradicate the façade of objectivity and allow your fandom and emotions through. It's nearly ten thirty and I'm still completely flummoxed by today's disaster in Winston-Salem that it feels a bit like unnecessary roughness for a late hit to write about the men's soccer teams 4-3 loss to Wake Forest at Ludwig Field Saturday night. I hope my readers will forgive me if I omit my usual level of detail.

This game was about missed opportunities for Maryland, converted chances for Wake Forest, and, as an unhappy Terrapin coach Sasho Cirovski said after the game, "a twenty-five minute stretch where we were terrible defensively and Wake was very sharp in the counter attack." He went on to state, "We got sloppy with the ball and to Wake's credit they were lethal in their finishing. For the amount of chances they had, [only five shots on goal] they were lethal. Right now we have to solve how to become a better team defensively -individually and collectively."

Maryland dominated the run of play for the first fifteen minutes or so but when Dan Metzger left the game, the Terps defensive middle seemed to lose its way. Wake got on the board first on an own goal. After a nicely developed fast break, Jereme Raley attempted a sliding clear and knocked the ball into an open left side of Maryland's goal. The Demon Deacons doubled the lead on a long run down the right side by Luca Gimenez that left Terp goalkeeper Zack Steffen in a one on one situation when Maryland's center defense made a slow recovery. In the thirty-fifth minute, a long goal kick by Steffen led to Patrick Mullins being fouled in the box and the senior from New Orleans converted his seventh consecutive penalty kick of the season to bring the Terps within one with a much needed goal. But Maryland couldn't handle prosperity and Wake converted two more fast breaks over a two minute run of play into two scores to take a 4-1 halftime lead.

The Terps came out aggressively and crisply to open the second half and had their first chance just forty-five seconds in when Michael Sauers took a cross from Tsubasa Endoh but couldn't convert. Early in the fifty-third minute, Mullins had a golden opportunity from about eight yards but Deacons goaltender Andrew Harris made a sliding save the left the senior lying on the ground in disbelief. Three minutes later, Mullins would break through on another PK after Schillo Tshuma was pulled down in the box. The Terps needed less than a minute to develop another threat when Endoh made a strong run into the box and centered to Sunny Jane who had his left footer blocked by Wake's defense. Following a Wake Forest foul, Maryland had a free kick from thirty yards but Mullins's half scissor, half bicycle shot sailed just high.

Still the Terps continued to press and after a defensive clear to Steffen, he waved his attackers downfield. Sunny Jane corralled his long boot and found Michael Sauers who blasted in a shot from twenty yards to pull the Terps within one and send the crowd of over 3,800 into a near frenzy. Maryland's last best chance to tie came in the sixty-sixth minute as Mullins found open space to make a run down the left side. The senior blistered a shot that caromed off the near post for another missed opportunity. The Terps will look to get back on track when they host Drexel Tuesday night at seven.