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Maryland men’s soccer beats American, 2-1, to stay undefeated

The Terps clinched the Big Ten Conference title last Friday, but that won’t stop them from piling on the wins.

Matthew Regan

The Maryland men’s soccer team continued its hot streak Monday night against American, downing the visitors 2-1 at Ludwig field.

Amar Sejdic and Gordon Wild led the charge once again for the Terps, but an American score kept things competitive. The win moves the top-ranked Terps to 11-0-2 with only three games remaining in the regular season.

Sejdic began the scoring with a screamer from just outside 18 yards. The midfielder picked up the ball in the middle of the park, played a quick one-two pass to Jake Rozhansky and shot, curving the ball into the bottom right corner.

Five minutes later, American tied it up. What was originally ruled an own goal turned out to be a header from David Fanet that snuck by Maryland goalkeeper Cody Niedermeier.

But Gordon Wild, the Big Ten’s leading scorer, came to the rescue in the 70th minute. A long ball from Sejdic found Wild streaking down the right-hand side with a step on his marker. The forward beat his man to the ball, dropped his shoulder and finessed the ball into the opposite corner.

Wild’s technical prowess really shone through on his unassisted effort. The former Atlantic Sun Conference Freshman of the Year did extremely well to create space for himself at the edge of the box, shake his defender, and curl the left-footed strike into the upper 90.

Niedermeier produced a huge save with under a minute left in the second half, coming off his line to block Panos Nakhid’s shot after the midfielder was delivered a lovely ball from Fanet.

“I tried to cut the angle as much I can, get big, and hoped the ball hit me and didn’t go in,” said Niedermeier. “I played with [Nakhid] this summer with the [D.C. United] U-23s. He’s got a great first touch and that burst of speed, so I knew I had to get out there.”

Maryland led in first-half shots, 5-2, while both teams had one shot on goal at the break.

The Terps came out in the second half with a lot more urgency in their play. The players showed a little more patience in possession and weren’t wasteful with their passes when they had the ball.

Five minutes after the restart, Eryk Williamson had a great chance on goal after being played through brilliantly by Dainkeh, but no one was in sight as the midfielder’s cross sailed across the goal line.

The Eagles responded with a flurry of opportunities coming from Nakhid and defender Jake Garcia. Nakhid’s chance was a solo attempt, with the Greek native taking the ball from the halfway line all the way before Niedermeier stopped him. On the ensuing corner, Maryland’s defense gifted Garcia gifted two free headers, the first of which ricocheted back of the crossbar before the senior skied the second by a couple of inches.

The match ended with the Terps leading in shots, 11-8, while both teams remained level in shots on goal, with four apiece. Niedermeier was only tested three times but the senior goalkeeper did well to come up big towards the end of the game.

Maryland plays its penultimate home game on Friday against Hofstra at 7:30 p.m. The match will be broadcast on BTN Plus.