Facing a 1-0 deficit in the 52nd minute, Maryland men’s soccer was gifted with a golden situation to equalize against Rutgers.
The Terps applied strong pressure in the Scarlet Knights’ defensive third in the opening minutes of the second half, forcing junior left back Thomas DeVizio to take a hard foul which resulted in a red card, giving Maryland an extended chance to find an equalizer.
However, the Terps’ momentum on the field quickly vanished.
Maryland gave up a dangerous free kick just outside the box, and then Scarlet Knight senior forward Ritchie Barry stroked a free kick off his right foot that found its way past Maryland goalkeeper Jamie Lowell into the top left corner of the net to give him his second goal of the game to give Rutgers a 2-0 lead in the 62nd minute.
The second goal from the Scarlet Knights with a man down proved critical, as Maryland couldn’t use its man advantage to its benefit, falling to the Scarlet Knights, 2-0, Wednesday afternoon.
“Second half, we had a golden opportunity when they got a red card and unfortunately we really showed our immaturity,” Cirovski said. “The effort was much better than last Saturday, but the execution in the final third was really lacking.”
After losing its first two games of the season, the Terps were off to their worst start since 1992. Now, Maryland has an even bigger deficit to climb out of, as it sits with an ugly 0-3 record to start the 2021 campaign.
Once again, Maryland found itself in a hole early as Rutgers was the side that produced a good amount of pressure in the first 15 minutes of the match. During that span, the Scarlet Knights generated three quick shots on goal and forced two corners.
Lowell was forced to make an early save just 46 seconds in off of a rip from midfielder/forward Jackson Temple, which forced the first corner of the day. Maryland defended off the early opportunity, but the quality chances kept coming for the Scarlet Knights.
Rutgers was able to force another corner a few minutes later, which proved to be a critical moment in the game for Maryland’s back line.
Barry collected the ball off a rebound that came off a shot from freshman forward Moussa Sbaly and poked it past Lowell for his second goal of the season in the eighth minute.
The Terps tried to answer the Scarlet Knights’ early goal with pressure of their own. Freshman midfielder Ben Bender and redshirt senior forward Paul Bin combined for some strong opportunities in the Rutgers’ penalty area just a few minutes after the opening tally, which afforded the Terps their first shot on target. However, similar to its game against Ohio State, Maryland wasn’t able to break through for an equalizer.
Outside of a big save from Lowell on a penalty kick, the rest of the first half saw Rutgers dominate the Maryland defense with a mixture of quick ball movement and swift counter attacking. The Terps managed just four shots with two on target through the first 45 minutes, while the Scarlet Knights collected four shots on goal with nine total attempts. Lowell had to make three saves in the first half after Maryland struggled to find its rhythm on the pitch as it went into the break down 1-0.
The second half started with a similar feel to the first as the Scarlet Knights produced the first shot on target.
However, after DeVizio was called for a red card in the 52nd minute, the momentum immediately shifted into Maryland’s favor, but not for long. Rutgers drew a free kick and Barry’s goal past Lowell gave him his second tally of the match in the 62nd minute, which pushed the Scarlet Knights ahead by two.
Maryland did put offensive pressure on Rutgers past the 70th minute, but it was too little too late for Maryland head coach Sasho Cirovski’s squad.
“It didn’t come out in real quality scoring chances,” Cirovski said of Maryland’s performance with a man advantage. “We had probably only two high quality scoring chances with 40 minutes a man up.”
The Terps failed to produce more than two shots on goal with the man advantage as the clock expired and they finished with just four shots on target through 90 minutes. Maryland couldn’t solve sophomore goalkeeper Oren Asher, as he stopped all shots on goal that the Terps attempted.
“Although the result again wasn’t what we wanted, I felt like the effort we put forth with the limited guys we had today was a positive,” sophomore midfielder Malcolm Johnston said.
Three Things to Know
1. Eric Matzelevich continues to be sidelined with an injury. Through three games in 2021, Maryland captain Matzelevich has played just three minutes on the pitch. The Terps have struggled to produce much offense through three matches, totaling just two goals. Maryland will need Matzelevich to return to full health as soon as possible if the Terps hope to turn their season around, especially on the offensive end.
2. Jamie Lowell continues to improve in net for the Terps. After giving up three first half goals against Penn State in the season opener, the 6-foot-4 freshman goalkeeper is starting to find his footing between the sticks for Maryland. Lowell was forced to make three saves in the first half and five saves in the full 90 minutes. He was a big reason as to why Maryland kept the game tight, and his progression is big for Maryland moving forward.
“Jamie grew into the game but got off to a sloppy start,” Cirovski said. “I think he took ownership of the fact that he could’ve done better on the first goal. But then he made some terrific saves after that, probably stopped two goals on a penalty and there was another scramble that he really had a great save on.”
3. Rutgers and Maryland played a very physical match. In the first half, there were a combined 12 fouls and three yellow cards from both teams. It was a very physical match that featured a ton of fouls throughout the entire 90 minutes. When the final whistle sounded from the referee, there were a total of 27 fouls, five yellow cards and one red card.
“It was definitely very physical,” junior forward Brayan Padilla said. “I think that also impacted our performance, but I mean at the end of the game...they finished their chances, and I think that was a crucial point.”