When UCLA came to College Park in 2015 as the No. 1 team in the country, the Bruins scored an equalizing goal in the 80th minute, sending the game into overtime. It was an eerily similar situation Friday night, when UCLA midfielder Brian Iloski’s 80th-minute free kick found its way into the back of the net, tying the game at two.
But Maryland forward Sebastian Elney scored the overtime game-winner two years ago to beat the Bruins, and he did it again in the 98th minute Friday to secure a 3-2 victory. Elney received a sharp pass from midfielder Jake Rozhansky on the right side of the box. The junior used the space he had, finishing the golden goal, leaving the Bruins in disbelief at Ludwig Field for the second time in three years.
Look familiar?— Maryland Soccer (@MarylandMSoccer) September 2, 2017
You can't make this stuff up. Seb in OT against the Bruins. AGAIN. #FearTheTurtle pic.twitter.com/IJB3fkznt1
Despite the action in the second half, the Terps and Bruins stayed off the scoreboard in the first 45 minutes. Maryland led 7-1 in shots in the first half, but only Wild managed to strike one on goal. UCLA’s only shot of the half came five minutes into the game, but it failed to find the frame.
The Terps were better at possessing the ball in the midfield, but the Bruins backline thwarted most of their opportunities before the attack reached the box. Maryland picked up the pace late in the half as they tried to score before the break, getting off three shots in the final five minutes.
The scoreless first half preluded an offensive shootout in the second.
Forward Gordon Wild stepped up the the penalty spot in the 56th minute following an unlucky Bruins handball in the box. The junior slotted his attempt into the lower left-hand corner of the net to put the Terps ahead 1-0.
But just like the matchup two years ago, The Bruins responded to tie the game. Twelve minutes after Maryland’s penalty kick, the Bruins crashed the box and hit the crossbar before Bruins defender Erik Holt rebounded the ball through traffic and finished it past Maryland goalie Dayne St. Clair.
Despite the sudden tied score, the Terps didn’t let up. Midfielder Eryk Williamson slipped a pass into the middle of the field, where it met freshman Eric Matzelevich’s foot on a volley. The shot ended up near-post and into the back of the Bruins net.
Even though it looked like the 2-1 score might end resembling the one from 2015, the Bruins were able tie the game on Illoski’s third goal of the year.
There was only one shot in overtime, and it happened to be the game-deciding finish from Elney, giving No. 6 Maryland the victory over No. 15 UCLA.
The Terps will return to action on Monday, as they’ll welcome Cal Poly to Ludwig Field at 7 p.m. ET.
Three things to know
- It was the fourth-most attended game in Maryland soccer history. The matchup between these two teams in 2015 set the Maryland soccer attendance record with 8,449 fans. With it being the first Friday night game of the season and a matchup between two top-15 programs, over 7,500 fans filled Ludwig Field to watch another instant-classic. This was the third straight year the Terps and Bruins have met up and gone into overtime, so it’s pretty understandable as to why the matchup turned into one of the most attended games in program history.
- The Terps played very physical. The Terps and Bruins combined for 29 fouls and five yellow cards. Games between two ranked opponents tend to be more physical and it showed Friday night, as the Bruins forced Maryland to match their intensity. But after playing two games against unranked opponents, it’s not surprising the Terps played fasted and tougher against a top-15 team in the country. They looked like they had something to prove.
- Sebastian Elney did it it again. Elney’s first collegiate goal was a game-winning golden goal to beat the Bruins at Ludwig Field two years ago. He celebrated in front of “The Crew,” jumping over the barrier in celebration. Two years later, you almost couldn’t tell the difference. He scored on the same goal, in the same overtime period and even decided to celebrate in the same exact fashion: with the fans. Elney will be giving the Bruins nightmares for years to come.