The Maryland men’s soccer team entered halftime Tuesday night against Rutgers on a 219-minute scoreless streak. The last time the Terps had seen a ball in the back of net was on forward Gordon Wild’s penalty kick in the 26th minute against Cal Poly on Sept. 4.
Just seven minutes into the second half, though, Wild knocked in a pass in front of net to end the streak that followed his score over a week ago. The forward scored once more to lead Maryland to a 3-0 win.
Maryland didn’t record a single shot on goal in seven attempts Friday night against now-No. 1 Indiana, but the Terps came out on the attack against Rutgers. They had four shots on goal on 11 attempts with five corner kicks just in the first half.
The two best chances came in back-to-back moments in the 33rd minute, but both left the crowd at Ludwig Field gasping. Midfielder Eryk Williamson played a ball upfield to defender George Campbell, who was making a long run down the right side of the pitch. The senior captain volleyed a cross into the box, but Wild’s sliding one-time shot attempt didn’t make contact with the ball in front of net. Seconds later, Amar Sejdic’s pass led Jake Rozhansky past the Scarlet Knight’s defense, where his chip was cleared off the goal line.
The Terps’ offensive persistence paid off after staying off the scoreboard in the first half, as Wild found himself in the right place in the right time twice in the second half.
Williamson and Wild led a two-on-one attack in front of Rutgers goalkeeper Rafael Pereira as the Scarlett Knight’s defense waited for an offside call that never came. Wild easily tapped in a pass to put the Terps up one in the 52nd minute.
GOOOAAAAALLLL!!— Maryland Soccer (@MarylandMSoccer) September 13, 2017
Wild's fourth of the season gives the Terps a 1-0 lead early in the second half!#GoaldonWild | #FearTheTurtle pic.twitter.com/YmQKax7RcL
The Maryland midfield worked for another Wild goal just eight minutes later. Rozhansky’s pass in front of the net met the junior’s foot, ending up in the net for his second goal of the night and his fifth of the season.
Belmont transfer Eli Crognale put the game out of reach with his first goal as a Terp in the 85th minute from outside the box.
GOOOAAAAALLLL!— Maryland Soccer (@MarylandMSoccer) September 13, 2017
Eli Crognale with his first career goal as a Terp! Maryland leads 3-0 with 5 minutes remaining. #FearTheTurtle pic.twitter.com/3fTs70KR9c
While the offense’s scoreless streak came to an end Tuesday night, the Terps’ backline extended a streak of its own. With their third straight clean sheet, the Terps haven’t conceded a goal in over 308 minutes. The shutout is the Terps’ fourth of the season after having six in 2016.
Maryland (5-0-1) returns to action this Sunday on the road against Penn State at 5 p.m. ET.
Three things to know
- The Terps haven’t allowed a goal in 308 minutes. Despite uncertainty heading into the season, the defense continued its strong play with the help of last week’s Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair. Maryland had a streak of five straight clean sheets from Sept. 23 to Oct. 10 last season, and tonight was Maryland’s third consecutive shutout.
- Gordon Wild scored his first two goals in the run of play. Even though Wild had three goals heading into Tuesday, none had come in the run of play. The junior had a pair of penalty kick goals and one directly off a free kick. Wild didn’t have to do much to score either goal thanks to being unmarked, but it’s a good sign that he’s getting open.
- The Terps don’t play at home much in the near future. After a five-game home stand, The Terps play only one game at Ludwig Field between now and Oct. 17. Maryland, which has only had one away game this season, has six road games during this span. Despite all the road action, the Terps will end the regular season with four home games.