Maryland men’s soccer finished its five-game home stand with Tuesday night’s 3-0 win over Rutgers, but now the team will play six of its next seven games away from Ludwig Field.
The road tests begin Sunday afternoon with Penn State. The Terps have beaten the Nittany Lions in each of the last three seasons to take a 22-19 all-time series lead. In 41 matches, the two teams have never tied.
Last season, the Terps won 3-2 in overtime thanks to Gordon Wild’s second goal of the game when Penn State came to College Park. Amar Sejdic, who has yet to score this season, scored the third goal for the Terps.
The last time Maryland traveled to State College, Maryland won 4-3 after giving up two early first-half goals. George Campbell scored three goals in the win, the team’s first hat trick since 2005.
The game is scheduled to kick off at 5 p.m. ET. It will be streamed on BTN+ here.
Penn State Nittany Lions (1-2-2, 0-1-0 Big Ten)
2016 record: 8-8-2, 4-4-0 Big Ten
Head coach Bob Warming. In the two seasons before Maryland joined the Big Ten, Warming coached the Nittany Lions to two straight conference titles. He’s coached at four other universities since 1976 and ranks second among active Division I coaches with 456 career wins.
Players to know
Sophomore midfielder Aaron Molloy, No. 8. After transferring from Keiser University, Molloy has two goals in the Nittany Lions’ first five games. The Dublin, Ireland native was the Sun Conference freshman of the year with four goals and two assists for the Seahawks.
Freshman forward Ethan Beckford, No. 10. Even though he’s yet to score this season, Beckford’s eight shots rank second on the team. He’s from England, but he spent the last four years in Canada playing with St. Maximillian Colbe Catholic High School and the Richmond Hill Soccer Club.
Recent success at home. Penn State has had a winning record at home in each of the past eight seasons. Out of their eight wins in 2016, the Nittany Lions won all of those matches at home, while going winless away from State College. When the Terps last traveled to Penn State, they fell behind 2-0 before winning 4-3.
Scoring goals. Of 202 Division I men’s soccer teams, Penn State’s three goals this season ranks 172nd in the country. Only two Nittany Lions have scored through five games, so appears they lack offense after losing many goal scorers from a year ago. Penn State is yet to score more than one goal in a game this season and has been held scoreless twice.
Three things to watch
1. Will the scoreless streak continue? The Terps have held opponents scoreless for the last 308 minutes of game time. The last goal they allowed was back on Sept. 1 against UCLA. With four shutouts this season, Maryland is already more than halfway to its clean sheet total from last year. With how little Penn State has scored in its first five games, the Terps defense faces another favorable matchup to extend their current streak to four games.
2. Can the Terps offense replicate Tuesday’s offensive performance? After recording no shots on goal against No. 1 Indiana, Maryland thrived against a weaker Rutgers backline. The Terps exploded for 25 shots, 10 of which were on frame. While Rutgers’ defense is far from the best Maryland will face this season, Gordon Wild watched film from last season and put a stronger emphasis on attacking the box, which helped him score two easy tap-in goals. If Maryland’s midfield can continue to create chances for its forwards, the Terps will be in good shape.
3. How will the Terps adjust to the road? It’s been over three weeks since Maryland had to travel for a match. The team has improved since its first game of the season on the road against Santa Clara, but the Terps made two mistakes to allow a pair of goals against a team that is currently 0-6. Six of Maryland’s next seven games are on the road, so buckle up.