The wait is over for the Maryland men’s soccer team.
The Terps captured their first goal and win of the 2018 season with a 1-0 win over West Virginia on Monday night at Ludwig Field.
“I’m really proud of our team,” head coach Sasho Cirovski said. “It’s been a long time since we scored… We just needed to get a W, and that’s what we got tonight.”
The game-winning goal came in the 77th minute, as senior midfielder Amar Sejdic scored off a cross from senior defender Chase Gasper and lifted the dark cloud that’s been looming over the Terrapin attack for their first four games.
“Just so happy for this team and all the perseverance we’ve shown,” Gasper said. “To finally get rewarded with a goal that we feel we finally deserve is a huge weight off our shoulders.”
The Terps came right out of the gates looking hungry for their first goal,Sejdic led off the shooting for the Terps just over 10 minutes into the first half, but the senior captain’s shot lacked power and went wide left of the goal. Freshman William James Herve, in his first collegiate start, got a shot on goal just a few minutes later that West Virginia sophomore goalkeeper Steven Tekesky easily scooped up.
In the 25th minute, Herve had another good look inside the box, already surpassing the Terps’ single shot on goal against UCLA foreshadowing the goal that would come late in the second half.
The Terps came close to surrendering a goal with just under 10 minutes in the first half, as the ball bounced around the box and junior defender Pascal Derwaritsch had a shot hit the right post.
Freshman Brett St. Martin, who was also granted his first-ever start, got a shot on goal in the 40th minute. Less than a minute later, junior attacker Paul Bin had another strike on goal that Tekesky saved with ease.
Though the Terps went into halftime still scoreless, they had six shots and four shots on goal, already matching their shot totals from Saturday.
“We talked about how we wanted to get off to a better first half,” Cirovski said. “I thought we could have maybe had a goal or two in the first half… Thankfully, we got the one in the second half and hopefully it’s a sign of good things to come.
Redshirt junior goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair had a couple key saves for the Terps in the second half before Sejdic had two straight shots in the box, both going over the crossbar.
“In the first and second half I had a couple of opportunities to put it away, but I think it showed the mental fatigue coming in from a quick turnaround,” Sejdic said. “I’m just happy I saw Chase make that run.”
Sejdic got the result he wanted 15 minutes after his two shots that went high, jumping up and using his back to send Gasper’s cross to the top-left corner of the goal and the crowd went wild.
“At the end of the day, we knew that all we needed was one [goal] to relieve that pressure,” Sejdic said. “I think our entire team can take a deep breath now. We’re moving forward.”
The Terps will travel to Northwestern on Friday to begin Big Ten play, with kickoff scheduled for 8 p.m.
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