When Maryland men’s soccer welcomed local rival Georgetown into College Park last season, forward Gordon Wild scored with 44 seconds left to clinch a 2-1 victory over the Hoyas. This year, with the score tied at zero with under three minutes left to play, it was the Hoyas that did the late-minute scoring.
Jacob Montes’ 88th-minute goal was all the Hoyas would need to hand Maryland its first regular-season loss in the past two seasons. A ball was played upfield, where it deflected off defender Donovan Pines’ leg and up to Montes, who beat goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair on a one-on-one to shock the Terps.
Heading into the game Tuesday night against the 13th-ranked Hoyas, the Terps knew they would be without two starting defenders. Sophomore Miles Stray filled in at left back for senior captain Chase Gasper, who sat out with a groin injury he sustained in Friday night’s win against Wisconsin. Freshman Ben Di Rosa made his third start of the season at right back in place of senior George Campbell, who was unavailable to play because the red card he received against the Badgers.
Even with those two starters watching from the sidelines, the Terps’ backline conceded just one shot in the first half, a long shot from outside the box that St. Clair easily caught. The only other dangerous moment created by the Hoyas came in the 40th minute, when defender Sean O’Hearn played sharp ball across the face of net. It skipped past three Georgetown attackers and out for a Maryland goal kick.
Maryland put six of its seven first-half attempts on net, with five different players recording shots in the first 45 minutes. The Terps’ most threatening opportunity came after midfielder Eryk Williamson—who earlier Tuesday was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week—lost but then fought back possession from the ground. The ball found its way to Amar Sejdic, but his shot from outside the box was blocked. Andrew Samuels captured the rebound but his shot, too, was deflected on its way to the net.
But after Maryland played in a nine-goal game Friday night, scoring was hard to come by between the two local foes.
The Hoyas increased offensive pressure in the second half, recording five shots in the period. Freshman Jack Beer ripped a shot just over the bar, and minutes later, senior Christopher Lema tried curling a shot around St. Clair, but the goalkeeper tipped it out for a corner kick.
In the 70th minute, freshman substitute Eric Matzelevich tried bending a shot past Hoyas goalie JT Marcinkowski, but the junior’s diving save maintained a scoreless tie. Williamson hit the crossbar from inside the box four minutes later, narrowly missing his team-leading seventh goal of the season.
It looked like the game would head into overtime, but Montes’ 88th-minute goal effectively ended both the game and Maryland’s undefeated season.
No. 3 Maryland (10-1-3) continues its four-game homestand Friday night against Coastal Carolina at 7 p.m. ET.
Three things to know
- Maryland almost survived without two starting defenders. The team knew it would be without George Campbell and Chase Gasper heading into a tough match with a ranked local rival, but was confident others would step up to fill the void. Both Campbell and Gasper have played over 1,000 minutes this season, but this defense didn’t crack for 88 minutes against the Hoyas. Campbell only had to sit out one game due to his red card on Friday, so he’ll be available this weekend. Gasper, however, has no timetable for return.
- The Di Rosa brothers provided quality minutes. Yes, Maryland men’s soccer has twin freshman brothers. Ben, a defender, started in his third game of the season, while Matt, a midfielder, made just his second appearance of the year. Matt played six minutes in the first half and then 11 the remainder of the game. Ben filled in at right back, helping fill in for two starting senior captains.
- Maryland falls for the first time this season. After 30 straight regular season matches without defeat, the Terps wind up with a loss. Maryland’s last two losses have now come at home, after losing to Providence in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season. The Terps had just completed an unbeaten regular season on the road last Friday against Wisconsin, but lost in the first leg of a four-game homestand Tuesday night.