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Maryland men’s soccer vs. Hofstra preview: Terps return for 2017 home opener

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The Terps play at Ludwig Field for the first time since their NCAA Tournament loss.

Matthew Regan

After a 4-2 road win against Santa Clara Friday night, the Maryland men’s soccer team is 1-0-0 for the first time since 2011. The Terps will now play their home opener Monday, their first non-exhibition match at Ludwig Field since last season’s NCAA Tournament loss to Providence.

Despite that loss, Maryland has still won its last 13 regular-season matches at Ludwig Field, the last defeat coming on Oct. 20, 2015 against Delaware.

The Terps will take on Hofstra, a team they are 4-0-0 against all-time. The Pride came to College Park last year, suffering a 2-1 loss behind two goals from former Terps defender Alex Crognale.

The game is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. ET. If you can’t make it, tune in to WMUC Sports’ broadcast here.

Hofstra Pride (1-0)

2016 record: 9-8-1, 7-1-0 CAA

Head coach Richard Nuttall. Entering his 29th season as head coach, Nuttall led his team to a one-loss conference record last year before falling in the CAA Semifinals. He is the winningest coach in Hofstra men’s soccer history and has coached the Pride to seven winning seasons in the past eight years.

Players to know

Senior midfielder Meshack Eshun Addy, No. 7. A 2016 First-Team All-CAA selection, Eshun Addy returns as a four-year player and Hofstra’s second-leading goal scorer from last season. He had six goals and two assists in 2016, including Hofstra’s goal against the Terps in College Park last season.

Sophomore forward Luke Brown, No. 19. Scoring a team-leading eight goals last season, Brown was awarded CAA Rookie of the Year in 2016. As a freshman, he ranked fifth in the conference in goals. He also led the Pride with 18 points, four more than the second-most on the team.

Strength

Veteran starters. Hofstra’s Starting 11 Friday night against Penn State featured seven juniors and seniors. The Pride returns their top three goal scorers, who knocked in 20 of the team’s 28 goals last season. The veteran presences mixed with young talent like Brown compliment each other well.

Weakness

Road games. Hofstra went 4-6-1 last season away from home, including a 1-5-1 record in nonconference road games. The Pride typically schedule a tough schedule early in the season, which has helped them later in their conference slate. Hofstra only scored 13 goals in 11 road games last season, including a stretch of four straight games without a goal away from home. They did, however, win Friday on the road against the Nittany Lions.

Three things to watch

1. It’s Maryland’s first home game since the NCAA Tournament. Reminders of last season’s 5-4 loss to Providence have been prolific this offseason, but in anticipation for the Terps’ first home contest in 2017, it is still something to note. Once this game is over, we can leave that game in the past until this season’s NCAA Tournament. Look for the Terps to play their hearts out for the faithful fans at Ludwig.

2. Will Gordon Wild or Amar Sejdic score? The two juniors led the Terps with 17 and nine goals respectively last season, but neither found the back of the net Friday night in Santa Clara. It is good sign that the Terps can go on the road and score four times without a goal from their biggest threats from a season ago. Jake Rozhansky and Eryk Williamson, who combined for five goals last season, scored three times Friday night, while freshman Eric Matzelevich finished his first collegiate goal.

3. Will the starting defense and subs remain the same? Sasho Cirovski started an entirely new defense to start the 2017 season, as transfers Chase Gasper and Johannes Bergmann took the field with senior George Campbell and sophomore Miles Stray. Andrew Samuels started 13 games last season as a sophomore, but played just 14 minutes as a substitute. Sophomore Donovan Pines played over 30 minutes on the backline as a sub, while freshman Ben Di Rosa played 14 minutes. We’ll see if Cirovski sticks with this rotation or plays trial-and-error during the early stretch of nonconference matches.