The Maryland men’s soccer team will be looking to get its first goal of the season when they take the pitch for the fourth time against the UCLA Bruins on Friday night.
The Terps (0-1-2) are coming into Friday’s match having already played three ranked opponents—No. 7 Virginia, No. 10 Stanford and No. 24 Washington—and held UVA and Stanford scoreless in overtime draws two weeks in a row.
Maryland and Virginia renewed their long-time rivalry Monday night in grand fashion, as it was the first ever collegiate match played in DC United’s new Audi Field. Though the two teams were unable to find the back of the net through regulation and two overtime periods, head coach Sasho Cirovski praised his defense and goalkeeper for shutting out two tough opponents.
“Obviously getting the two ties against top-10 teams is something to feel pretty good about, but we need to score some goals and we need to get some wins,” Cirovski said. “Hopefully we’ll be ready for Friday for a big test.”
The Terps’ best options for scoring may be the freshman coming off the bench, Justin Gielen and William James Herve. Gielen and Herve entered the game midway through the first half and immediately made their presence known to Virginia’s backline. Gielen has played about 60 minutes each game, and Herve has clocked at least 52 minutes in the last two matches.
Gielen finished the game with four of the Terps’ seven shots on goal against Virginia, including a header that went just wide of the far post in the second overtime period.
The Terps are 6-3-1 all time against the Bruins and are 2-0-1 in the last three matchups. Senior attacker Sebastian Elney scored both overtime winners in the last two meetings in 2015 and last season, both played at Ludwig Field.
The Bruins will no doubt have their eyes locked on senior attacker Sebastian Elney, especially if the game goes into overtime. The two teams have played each other the last three years, and in two of those matchups in 2015 and 2017, the Terps were ranked No. 6.
UCLA (2-1-0) suffered their first loss of the season Sunday night at home against San Francisco, falling 1-0 after a counterattack in the second half caught the the Bruins off guard.
Junior forward Mohammed Kamara leads the team with three goals, two of which came in the Bruins’ 2-0 win over San Diego. The Bruins also have an offensive threat in freshman midfielder Matt Hundley, who scored two goals against Coastal Carolina and was named Pac-12 Player of the Week.
The Terps and Bruins will kick off game action at 7 p.m. at Ludwig Field and can be watched live on the Big Ten Network.
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