The Maryland men’s soccer team hadn’t lost two straight games in over three years, but after the first 45 minutes against Coastal Carolina Friday night, the Terps found themselves down at halftime for the first time all season.
The Terps pushed for an equalizer for an entire half, but Coastal Carolina’s 38th-minute goal was the only score of the match, giving the Chanticleers a 1-0 win in College Park.
Senior midfielder Jake Rozhansky said he wanted the team to come out “very hot and fired up” against the Chanticleers, but for the second time this week, the opposition earned a 1-0 lead on the road against the third-ranked Terps.
The two teams traded scoring chances in the first half, but Coastal Carolina’s Frantzdy Pierrot found the back of the net in the 38th minute. Directly off of midfielder Ryan Willoughby’s throw-in, Pierrot controlled the ball of his chest, setting up a bicycle kick that went up and over goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair and into the goal. It was just the fourth score conceded in first half by the Terrapins all season.
It was the only goal in the game, but the Chanticleers had more than one golden opportunity. Coastal Carolina took the game’s first three shots, including a shot saved by a diving St. Clair and an attempt blocked by Maryland defender Donovan Pines.
The Terps’ two chances to score in the first half came from Rozhansky and George Campbell, who returned Friday night after serving a one-game red-card suspension against Georgetown. Campbell tried to sneak a ball near-post by Coastal Carolina’s goalkeeper Braulio Linares-Ortiz made the save in the 15th minute. Late in the half with the Terps trailing, Rozhansky’s one-on-one attempt was also saved by Linares-Ortiz, a College Park native.
Despite three shots on goal in four attempts, Maryland founds itself trailing at halftime for the first time this season.
Sophomore Mike Heitzmann crossed a ball into the box in the 54th minute, but Sebastian Elney’s header sailed over the bar. Later in the second half, Johannes Bergmann swung in a ball from a free kick, but this time Gordon Wild’s header missed the frame.
Maryland’s offensive struggles from Tuesday continued against the Chanticleers, only recording seven shots. It was just the third time the Terps were outshot in a match, but that’s happened twice in the past three games. The Terps have outshot their opponents 220-109 this season, but the Chanticleers held an 11-7 edge Friday.
Coastal Carolina played very defensively in the second half in an attempt to preserve the slim lead and to come out of College Park with a season-defining win. The defensive priority frustrated the Maryland attack, helping earn a third consecutive victory.
The Terps appeared to have an equalizing opportunity in the 90th minute, but neither Wild nor Amar Sejdic could create enough time to get shots on goal in the box before time ran out.
Maryland (10-2-3) returns to action for its last nonconference match of the season this Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET against VCU.
Three things to know
- Maryland loses two straight matches for the first time in over three years. You’d have to go back to Sept. 30 and Oct. 5 during the 2014 season to find the last time the Terps dropped two straight games. Following those losses to Georgetown and Northwestern, the Terps won 11 straight contests, including one in the Big Ten Championship. Maryland’s defense on Friday was still without Chase Gasper, but its offense that hasn’t scored in back-to-back games now.
- DJ Reeves started in place of Gordon Wild. After scoring the second-most goals in the country last season, Wild hasn’t scored in a month after scoring five times in the early portion of the year. Head coach Sasho Cirvoski decided to start Reeves instead against the Chanticleers. Reeves didn’t record a shot in the first half before being replaced by Wild in the 27th minute. Wild finished the game with more playing time than Reeves, but interestingly didn’t receive the start.
- Two unlikely players created scoring opportunities. Freshman Matt Di Rosa started the first game of his collegiate career at left back in place of an injured Chase Gasper, playing 77 minutes. Sophomore Mike Heitzmann entered the game with just 29 minutes played, but started the second half for the Terps. A Heitzmann cross nearly helped equalize the game, but Sebastian Elney’s header went over the bar and out for a corner. Di Rosa swung in several crosses throughout the game, but they were left unmet in the box.