The Maryland men’s soccer team allowed its first penalty kick of the season just seven minutes after taking a 1-0 lead on the road against Connecticut, but responded positively with two goals in the second half.
Midfielder Jake Rozhansky and substitute DJ Reeves netted a pair of goals in the final 45 minutes to outlast the Huskies, 3-2, in Maryland’s third game in the past seven days.
It’s been a tiring past week for Maryland, but it was the Terps who dominated the possession and offensive opportunities in the first half. Johannes Bergmann tried to find his fellow center defender Donovan Pines on a cross into the box in the 16th minute, but it just missed the intended target. Instead, it fell to the foot of forward Gordon Wild, who hit a one-time finish into the net. But looking over to the sidelines, the side judges’ flag was raised for offsides for the third time in the first 20 minutes, all of which were called on the junior striker.
Wild made up for it shortly after, though, after one of his shot attempts was deflected. He recollected the ball and found a wide-open Eryk Williamson, who struck it into the bottom corner of the net to give the Terps a 1-0 lead that counted.
But for the second time in Maryland’s last two road games, the lead would only last for less than 10 minutes. Maryland defender Donovan Pines collided with Connecticut’s Cheikh Stephane Coly in the 34th minute, drawing the first penalty kick allowed by the Terps this season. Goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair dove left while Blaise N’Gague shot right, and just like that, the two teams were tied after just seven minutes of separation.
Despite Maryland outshooting the Huskies 7-3 in the first half, the score was even heading into halftime.
The first 10 minutes of the second half was a back-and-forth affair, but no shots were recorded for either side. However, in the 55th minute, midfielder Amar Sejdic slipped a through ball to Rozhansky, who finished past the goalie to retake the lead for the Terps.
Rozhansky’s goal was his fourth of the season, as he extended his point total to a team-high 14. Sejdic now has two assists in the last two games. Reeves put the game away in the 67th minute after receiving a pass from Williamson, slipping the ball past a motionless Scott Levene for his first goal of the season.
The Huskies outshot the Terps in the second half, but Maryland came away with the win. UConn scored a goal off a turnover with just two minutes left, but couldn’t complete a second comeback. The Huskies had an equalizing chance with one minute left, but defender George Campbell made a goal-line clearance to preserve the victory.
The Terps (8-0-3) will return to action this Friday on the road against No. 16 Ohio State at 7 p.m. ET.
Three things to know
- Maryland was able to respond to an unfortunate call. The Maryland backline didn’t appear pleased with the penalty called on them in the box, but the team responded well in the second half. The Terps haven’t had to respond to many game-tying goals this season, but showed against UConn they can overcome adversity. Maryland scored two go-ahead goals against UCLA when the Bruins tied the game twice earlier this season, but didn’t reclaim the lead when UMBC evened the score last week in Baltimore.
- Jake Rozhansky continued his great senior season. As a junior in 2016, Rozhansky had three goals and eight assists. Through 11 games now in his final year, he’s already tied his point total with 14. His four goals are second on the team, only trailing Gordon Wild’s five, and his six assists lead the team. After scoring twice in the season opener against Santa Clara, he now has a goal in each of Maryland’s last two games.
- The Terps survived a tough stretch of games. This was Maryland’s third match in the past seven days after playing UMBC last Tuesday and Northwestern on Friday. Fatigue didn’t look like a huge factor against the Huskies, as the Terps still controlled the possession for most of the game. After coming away with two wins and a tie in the past week, the Terps now only play twice in the next 11 days, the last two regular season road games for Maryland this year.