Maryland men’s soccer has scored a goal. After being held scoreless for 476 minutes to start the season, the Terrapins were able to put the ball in the back of the net. And it was a game-winner to boot, as Maryland West Virginia 1-0.
Amar Sejdic is in his fourth year with the team, and he knows all of the ups and downs that this program has undergone since his arrival in 2015. He took four shots in this game, but the last one was the crucial one. He broke the scoreless streak and gave his team its first win of the season.
The first shot of the game came from Sejdic in the 12th minute, but his left-foot strike missed the net wide left. Although it was a missed opportunity, it set the stage for Maryland to rack up more scoring chances.
In his first career start, William James Herve shone bright and instilled hope into a struggling Terrapins attack. The freshman registered two shots in the first 45 minutes, both of which were on goal. But West Virginia goaltender Steven Tekesky saved both chances, and that was just the start of his impressive night. Later in the half, the sophomore would make two saves in less than two minutes on Brett St. Martin and Paul Bin, but neither was especially dangerous.
Despite being outshot 5-2, the Mountaineers possessed the best scoring chances of the first half. In the 18th minute, Rushawn Larmond ripped a low shot to the left of Dayne St. Clair, who had to make a diving stop with his left arm to keep the game tied. Later in the 36th, Pascal Derwaritsch’s shot hit the post and bounced out of harm’s way, giving the Terrapins a fortunate break and keeping the game tied heading into the break.
Sejdic, a senior with a load of experience with this team, had back-to-back chances within a minute stretch to give his team the relief and peace of mind it so desperately craved. In the 60th minute, he came sliding into the box and struck the ball, but it sailed above the crossbar. Just one minute later, he had a point-blank opportunity to take the lead, but his shot flew so high it went over the bleachers.
Those were the best chances of the first 30 minutes of the second half, as the next five shots were traded back and forth between the two teams. All of them either going wide or being blocked. That would set up a moment that Maryland fans have craved for seemingly ever.
After wasting two opportunities earlier in the half, Sejdic came in through when it mattered most. Off a terrific cross from fellow senior Chase Gasper, he jumped in the air, spun around mid-flight, and with the back of his right shoulder, he lofted the ball towards the goal. It took an arching path, falling ever so slightly into the top-left corner of the net and just beyond the outstretched arms of Tekesky. The scoreless drought was now over.
West Virginia couldn’t muster any true scoring opportunities that could tie the game thanks to a strong back line and a dominant win in the time-of-possession battle. When regulation was over, the Terps were winners.
Three things to know
1. Amar Sejdic is the hero. Not only did the senior break one of the longest scoreless streaks in program history, but his goal was a game-winner. It’s up there with some of the more improbable ones you’ll see, but Sejdic ultimately was the one to bring home the Terps’ first win of the season.
2. Dayne St. Clair held strong. The Mountaineers were able to get a ton of shots off, totaling 12 on the night. Six of those were on net, and each was a legitimate scoring chance. But St. Clair was the anchor the Terps needed, doing his part to get his team the victory.
3. The confidence is back. Despite the constant reassurance from head coach Sasho Cirovski that the goals (and wins) would come soon, the Terrapins needed to make a play to win a game. They did just that, and this could be a spark for the rest of the season. The first test will be in-conference at Northwestern on Friday.