Fresh off its biggest win of the season over then-No. 13 Ohio State, No. 8 Maryland men’s soccer picked up its second consecutive shutout against Old Dominion.
It was an extremely physical match as both teams stuck to their cards and defended the net. Neither team made much progress on the offensive end until the Monarchs committed a costly foul in the box. Senior midfielder Malcolm Johnston was awarded a penalty kick and converted, his fourth of the season.
Maryland’s defense held its ground in the second half and limited Old Dominion to eight shots on the night, picking up a 1-0 victory.
Up next for the Terps are the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, another Big Ten team with one loss. Rutgers has not lost since August in its second game of the season, as the Scarlet Knights have found their rhythm.
Maryland’s fourth road game of the season will begin at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. The match can be watched on the Big Ten Network.
NOTE: Due to severe weather, the game has been rescheduled for 3:45 p.m., it was announced Tuesday.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights 5-1-4 (2-0-1 Big Ten)
Head coach Jim McElderry transformed the Rutgers program. Prior to McElderry taking over in 2019, the Scarlet Knights recorded just one winning season since 2011. Rutgers has beaten Maryland only twice in 15 matchups, one of them coming in the 2020-21 season. McElderry led the Scarlet Knights to a 9-6-2 record in his third year, as they advanced to the Big Ten quarterfinals for the second consecutive season.
This year, Rutgers is having its best season under McElderry and is coming off a 2-2 draw against No. 11 Ohio State. With Maryland on deck, the Scarlet Knights will be tested once again.
Players to know
Jackson Temple, senior midfielder, No. 12 — Since joining the team in 2019, Temple has started in all but one of his 51 appearances. He broke out last season as he led the team in points (14) with six goals and two assists. His play garnered a Second Team All-Big Ten selection, but Temple has been playing even better this season, tallying 15 points on five goals and five assists.
Matthew Acosta, sophomore midfielder, No. 16 -- Acosta was a unanimous All-Big Ten freshman team selection in 2021. He failed to score a goal and recorded just two assists, but made a name for himself on the defensive end. While Acosta will not dominate on the offensive end, he will challenge redshirt sophomore forward Joshua Bolma.
MD Myers, senior forward, No. 9 — Myers spent his first three years at High Point before transferring to Rutgers. He has been a welcomed addition, as Myers is the Scarlet Knights’ most potent player. He is a game-wrecker that can single-handedly will his team to a win. This season, Myers has put up seven goals and three assists while starting in all 10 games.
Offense. Rutgers is one of the best offensive teams in the country. Prior to last weekend’s games, the Scarlet Knights ranked 12th in the nation in total goals (22), 22nd in points per game (7.00) and 41st in shots on goal per game (6.44). Rutgers’ offense has been great, but Maryland’s defense is rolling as well.
Defense. The only thing that has stopped Rutgers from having an undefeated record is its defense. The Scarlet Knights surrendered a whopping six goals in their lone loss against Creighton. This was not a fluke, as Rutgers currently ranks second-to-last in the Big Ten in goals allowed (18) and save percentage (.633) and last in shutouts (1).
Three things to watch
1. Can the Terps slow down this explosive offense? Rutgers is easily the best offensive team Maryland has faced this year. The Scarlet Knights’ offense ranks at the top of the Big Ten and has two players in the running for Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year. However, the Terps are coming off back-to-back shutouts and have really found their rhythm on defense. It will be interesting to see which unit outlasts the other.
2. Will Niklas Nuemann make his return? Senior goalkeeper Niklas Neumann has been sidelined during the last four games after suffering a leg injury against Georgetown, allowing junior Jamie Lowell to pick up a few starts. Lowell has been phenomenal this season, recording 16 saves, two shutouts and a .762 save percentage in five starts. Neumann was practicing with the team last week, and while Lowell has played well, it would be uplifting to see Neumann on the pitch.
3. How will Maryland play on the road? The Terps have only played one out-of-state game this year, so they are not used to an entirely hostile environment. While Maryland feeds off its own energy, its loyal fanbase — “The Crew” — provides a needed pick-me-up when the Terps are sluggish. If Maryland wants to silence the crowd and remain in control of the game, it will need to start strong, something the Terps have struggled to do this season.