No. 14 Maryland men’s soccer is coming off its second win of the year and is set to take on another tough rival in the No. 21 Georgetown Hoyas on Saturday.
The Terps have been up and down in the polls this season. They started at No. 20 before defeating then-No. 9 New Hampshire and taking its spot in the top 10. Maryland’s second weekend did not go as well as its first, though, falling to then No. 20 Denver. Luckily for the Terps, a 6-1 win over Virginia saved them from falling too far.
Maryland’s six goals Monday are the most it has scored since 2012, as its offense was firing on all cylinders against the Cavaliers. Each goal was scored by a different Terp, including redshirt sophomore midfielder Joshua Bolma, who recorded one goal and two assists in just 18 minutes.
Maryland will be on the road for the second consecutive game as it will once again travel into the nation’s capital. The match will begin at 1 p.m. and be streamed on the Big East Digital Network on FloSports.
No. 21 Georgetown Hoyas (1-1-2)
2021 record: 18-3-1 (8-2)
Head coach Brian Weise has put Georgetown at the forefront of college soccer. Over the last 16 seasons, he has led the Hoyas to a 199-85-39 record, the best winning percentage of any coach in program history (.676). Georgetown won the 2019 national championship in what was the pinnacle of Weise’s career, along with a United Soccer Coaches Division I Coach of the Year award in 2012.
Since being ranked No. 2 to begin the season, the Hoyas have struggled. Georgetown started the season losing to then-unranked Pittsburgh before defeating Temple and tying both High Point and Denver. Despite the slow start, the Hoyas are still title contenders.
Players to know
Daniel Wu, senior defender, No. 5 — Wu has been the backbone of an elite Georgetown defense over the last two seasons. He started in all 17 of his appearances last year, recording one goal and two assists on his way to a Big East All-Conference second team selection. Wu has yet to contribute much on the offensive end this season, but he has proven to be clutch after scoring one of the Hoyas three goals in the 2019 championship game.
Kenny Nielsen, junior defender, No. 4 — Nielsen has started every game since joining Georgetown in 2020. Yet, he only has two career goals, one of which came in the season opener against Pittsburgh this year. Similar to Wu, Nielsen does not contribute much on offense but makes up for it with his toughness on the defensive end.
Jacob Murrell, freshman forward, No. 28 — The Hoyas had seven All-Big East players leave this offseason, making way for Murrell to see a lot of action in his debut season. It’s going to be hard to replace the 25 goals the team lost, but Murell has done his best so far, scoring two of Georgetown’s eight goals. The only Hoya to score multiple goals, Maryland will need to keep an eye on him in the open field.
Championship pedigree. No matter how slow of a start the Hoyas are off to, they will be competing for a championship come November. While Georgetown doesn’t have the experience that it had last year, many of the current Hoyas were key contributors during their 2019 national championship run. Led by Weise, Georgetown can still hang with the nation’s best.
Chemistry. The Hoyas are known for possessing fluidity and talent that cannot be taken advantage of, but things are slightly different this season. Georgetown has relied on three freshmen and four sophomores who did not start last season, causing some growing pains. As the season progresses, the Hoyas should find their rhythm and shoot right back up the rankings.
Three things to watch
1. Will Bolma be limited again? During Maryland’s win in the “Battle for the DMV” against Virginia, Bolma made his first appearance in the 59th minute and showed out. In 18 minutes of play, he dished out two assists before scoring a goal of his own in the 76th minute. Bolma had his leg wrapped up after the game, but he certainly looked good enough to start come Saturday.
2. How will the Terps follow up their impressive performance? Maryland is coming off one of its most dominant wins of the last decade after defeating the Cavaliers, 6-1. Six goals is the most Maryland has scored in 10 years and senior goalkeeper Niklas Neumann chipped in as well with three saves, one of which came against a crucial penalty kick in the 54th minute. With emotions and confidence at a season-high, head coach Sasho Cirovski will have to rally the troops and lock in for another challenging match.
3. Will Maryland end its losing streak against the Hoyas? Though they hold a 29-5-2 record over the Hoyas all-time, the Terps have been unable to beat Georgetown for the last six years. While Maryland may still be on the road, this is its best shot to take down the Hoyas in years. Coming off their strong win over Virginia, the Terps have the momentum coming into this one.