Riding high off an upset against Denver on Tuesday, Maryland men’s soccer completely dominated the last-place Ohio State Buckeyes en route to a 5-0 victory.
Friday night was Senior Night for the Terrapins, and six players were honored before kickoff. It was only fitting that a pair of seniors would score the most important goals of the match, as Sebastian Elney scored to take the lead in the 20th minute and Amar Sejdic delivered two insurance goals in the second half. And while fellow senior Chase Gasper didn’t score a goal, he tied a school record with three assists on the night.
The first half of the match was the most lopsided of the season to this point, and Maryland controlled the play from start to finish. The Terrapins didn’t register a shot until the 14th minute, but from that point on, they looked like world beaters. DJ Reeves nearly broke the tie, as he had a one-on-one opportunity against Buckeyes goalkeeper Parker Siegfried. The senior had him beat, but his shot barely missed right of the post.
Less than six minutes after Reeves’ chance, Elney had a scoring opportunity of his own. Chase Gasper led him to the top of the box, and after a quick move to shake his defender, Elney ripped a left-footed shot that narrowly avoided the fingers of Siegfried to take the lead.
Maryland fired shots in with the authority throughout the opening half, totaling 10 shots while holding the Buckeyes to zero. However, only three were on target, and they went into the half with just a 1-0 advantage.
Ohio State finally registered its first shot of the match in the 51st minute, but that would be its only chance on the night.
Despite needing just one goal to beat a powerhouse program in Denver on Tuesday, the Terrapins didn’t want to let a late equalizer be in the realm of possibilities against the Buckeyes. Enter Amar Sejdic. The senior, like Elney before him, had possession at the top of the box in the 62nd, and after making a defender miss, took a shot on goal. His strike wasn’t able to avoid Siegfried, but due to the velocity of the shot, it was able to find the back of the net despite the keeper’s resistance.
Less than 10 minutes later, Sejdic had another chance to show out in his penultimate match in front of the Ludwig Field crowd. Bryan Padilla drove to the right side of the box, and facing pressure, passed it to Sejdic, who was nearby. This time around, he ripped a left-footed strike that bent away from Siegfried and hooked inside the right goalpost.
With the match well out-of-hand, the Terps didn’t let up whatsoever. They continued to see quality opportunities in close, and that led to a pair of goals to showcase their dominant performance. In the 76th minute, Donovan Pines converted on a header to make the score 4-0, and in the 83rd, junior Mike Heitzmann scored the first goal of his career to put the icing on the cake.
It was the most dominating outing of the season for Maryland, and despite the opponent it faced, the performance was impressive nonetheless. And the Terps are getting hot at the best possible time.
Three things to know
1. Maryland did what it needed. Beating Ohio State is nothing to write home about, as the Buckeyes are winless in their past 13 matches. However, if the Terps wanted to keep their playoff aspirations alive, they needed to put Ohio State away and earn a convincing victory. That’s exactly what happened, and the Terrapins are headed into their final week of play with a ton of momentum.
2. Sebastian Elney took over early. After suffering injuries on Tuesday night against Denver, William James Herve and Paul Bin were both ruled out of Friday’s match. With its two leading scorers sidelined, Maryland needed someone to step up and take control of the offense. Elney did just that, putting the Terps ahead for good in the 14th minute.
3. Just two matches remain. The Terps have won back-to-back matches, and that’s a great way to head into the last week of the regular season. They’ll host Penn State on Tuesday before travelling to Ann Arbor for a season-ending match against MIchigan on Sunday afternoon.