Following what will more than likely be its biggest win of the regular season over No. 6 Indiana, No. 25 Maryland men’s soccer will look to carry its momentum into its next match against undefeated Yale.
The matchup with the Bulldogs marks the sixth ranked game the Terps will have played this season, going 3-2 in such matches to this point. But riding high off an emotional win last Friday night, Maryland appears to have turned a corner against top-25 opponents.
Monday night’s match will also be the first-ever meeting between Maryland and Yale in either program’s history.
Yale Bulldogs (9-0-2, 3-0-0 Ivy): 7 p.m.
Head coach Kylie Stannard, groomed under Michigan State’s Damon Rensing prior to becoming the Bulldogs’ head coach in 2014, has built Yale soccer from the ground up over his five years with the program. Going from an abysmal 1-13-3 record in his debut season, Stannard now has Yale off to its best start in almost a century, remaining unbeaten through 11 games for the first time since 1935.
Players to Know
- Junior midfielder Mark Winhoffer (No. 10) is currently tied for the Division I lead for total assists this season, notching nine through the team’s first eleven matches, including a three assist performance against Central Connecticut State a little less than a month ago. Capable of finding his own shot as well, Winhoffer has added four goals to the Yale offense this season, making him a capable offensive threat both on and off the ball.
- Senior midfielder Miguel Yuste (No. 9), who scored just three goals in his Yale career prior to his season, has exploded offensively in his final year with Bulldogs. With seven goals to his credit this season, Yuste and Winhoffer combine for a menacing offensive duo for Stannard’s attack.
- Sophomore goalkeeper Elian Haddock (No. 29) has been rock solid between the pipes in just his first season receiving significant playing time, starting in all of Yale’s 2019 matches after having just one career start under his belt prior to this season.
Standing at 6’4, Haddock’s towering presence in the net has yielded dividends for Stannard, as the sophomore ranks within the top-50 keepers in Division I in save percentage (83.7%) and goals against average (0.61).
Shots accuracy. Part of why Yale’s offense has been as successful as it’s been this season is because of its offensive efficiency. Of Yale’s 13.7 shots per game, 6.5 of them are on goal, contributing to a shot accuracy of 47.4 percent. That mark puts them at 24th in the country in that category, as well as first in the Ivy League.
Staying disciplined. One of the areas that Yale has struggled in so far this season has been limiting its number of fouls per match. Averaging roughly 14 per contest, the Bulldogs rank 156th in Division I in fouls per game. The Terps have excelled at scoring off of set-pieces in 2019, with Monday’s match possibly playing to that strength if Yale gives away enough opportunities.
Three Things to Watch
- Can the Terps knock off two Top-25 teams in less than a week? Despite being in the midst of the most difficult stretch of the season in which four of their last five matches have been against ranked opponents, the Terps have performed admirably as of late. Save for a poor performance against Georgetown on a short week, Maryland has improved its play against ranked opponents as the season has worn on, and can continue that same success if it can pull it out against No. 24 Yale.
- Will the freshmen continue to perform? After a slew of injuries ravaged Maryland’s midfield and forward group, freshmen Malcolm Johnston, Nick Richardson and David Kovacic each have stepped into significant roles for the Terps this season. On Friday, TopDrawerSoccer.com listed Richardson, Johnston and Kovacic as the 23rd, 48th and 73rd best freshman in Division I, respectively. With all three starting in Maryland’s 3-0 win over No. 6 Indiana, the trio of talented freshmen will be put to the test once again Monday night.
- Can Maryland start fast? After scoring a combined four first half goals through its first 12 matches, the Maryland offense nearly matched that total with three goals against Indiana in less than 30 minutes. Starting slow has been an issue head coach Sasho Cirovski has tried to redress for most of the season, but Friday night’s effort could springboard the offense to beginning games more confidently going forward.