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Maryland men’s soccer drops season opener to Washington, 2-0

The Terps were shut out by the No. 24 Huskies on the road.

Gabe Fernandez/Testudo Times

The offensive woes of the Maryland men’s soccer team have yet to be corrected, as the Terrapins were blanked by No. 24 Washington in Seattle, losing by a score of 2-0.

Having scored just two goals in the final six games of the 2017 season, head coach Sasho Cirovski would likely have hoped to put on a strong showing on attack. Instead, the Terps managed to create 12 shots, only three of which were on goal.

For Washington, a trio of players led the way to victory. Perhaps most important was Joey Parish, who was kept off the scoreboard but had two assists to facilitate the offense. The benefactors of those opportunities were Scott Menzies and Kyle Coffee, who converted on easy goal chances to put the Huskies ahead.

Despite allowing two goals, Dayne St. Clair came to play. On the night, he totaled six saves, including five in the first half alone. Without his high level of play, the final score may have been even more lopsided.

Washington’s first shot came in the fifth minute when St. Clair stopped a strike from outside the box, but the first true test came almost 20 minutes later. After a deflection out of bounds, the Huskies were granted a corner kick to attempt to open up the scoring. St. Clair punched the pass out before any danger could ensue, and he would soon make a save on a header.

The Terrapins briefly possessed the ball in the following minutes, and after a turnover, Washington had a breakaway that would break the scoreless tie. Parish ripped a shot right at St. Clair, and the ball caromed to Menzies. The redshirt senior had a nearly wide-open chance on net, and he easily converted to kick off the season’s scoring.

Failing to put together any real possessions inevitably led to more scoring opportunities for the Huskies, and it was only a matter of time before they would beat St. Clair again. That moment came in the 38th minute, when Parish put a ball from the end line directly on the right foot of Coffee, who entered the box unimpeded. He tapped one to the back of the net to put his team up by two heading into the break.

Maryland’s offense found some breathing room in the second half, and it was able to get three shots on goal against Saif Kerawala. The best chance for the Terps came in the 60th minute when Amar Sejdic took the team’s first corner kick of the game and lofted a pass to the middle of the box. Junior defender Donovan Pines jumped and used all of his 6’5 frame to get a good angle on a header. However, Kerawala made a diving extension to grab the ball whilst in mid-air, ripping a potential goal away from the visitors.

The Terrapins had a couple more scoring chances late, but both fell short. Kerawala made a second diving save off a header to keep the Terps off the board, and DJ Reeves missed a near wide-open goal on a shot that sailed just above the crossbar.

Three things to know

1. Dayne St. Clair was promising. He didn’t get any goal support in this one, so he’ll be saddled with the loss. But the redshirt junior made a number of impressive saves, and he also stopped a few passes that won’t appear in the box score. If he can continue this level of play going forward, the Terps could be in good shape.

2. The offense was not. Maryland found the going markedly easier in the second half, but the results still left Sasho Cirovski and Co. wanting more. In fact, of the three shots on goal in the game, two came on set pieces, which isn’t a great sign of the offense’s ability to organically create scoring chances.

3. Stanford is looming. Opening the season on the road against a top-25 team is a tough task for any program, but that difficulty is compounded when it loses the number of players that Maryland did in the offseason. But next up is a date with the Cardinal, which has won three consecutive national championships. An 0-2 start wouldn’t bode well for the rest of the season, making that game even more important than it already is.