With one win under its belt, the Maryland men’s soccer team enters conference play Friday night against the Northwestern Wildcats.
The Terps (1-2-2) ended their 476-minute scoring drought to start the 2018 season on Monday night at Ludwig Field, defeating West Virginia 1-0 off an unconventional goal by senior midfielder and captain Amar Sejdic.
Fellow captain and senior defender Chase Gasper crossed from the left wing of the field, and Sejdic, leaping into the air, used his back to send the ball into the upper lefthand corner.
“Going into conference play, that’s just the motivation and confidence booster that we needed,” Gasper said. “I know everybody on our team is happy. Everyone is going to be looking to get the second and third [goals] going into Northwestern.”
Head coach Sasho Cirovski made a few changes to the lineup, including starting a new and inexperienced frontline. The Terps are still without senior forward Sebastian Elney, who is still unavailable to play with an ankle injury suffered against Virginia.
Cirovski gave the nod to freshman defender Brett St. Martin and freshman forward William James Herve for their first collegiate starts, sophomore Matt Di Rosa started in the left wing position, and freshman Justin Gielen started at forward in place of Elney.
The Terps offense produced 10 shots, five of which were on goal, and though the Mountaineers outshot them by a small margin, they were not able to convert and even up the score.
The Wildcats (4-1-1) also have momentum coming into this matchup after winning two straight 1-0 victories over Loyola on Friday, and the University of Missouri Kansas City on Sunday.
Thanks to Northwestern’s consecutive shutouts, sophomore goalkeeper Miha Miskovic was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on Tuesday. Miskovic held steady through 188 minutes of play, as the Wildcats went into overtime against Loyola.
Senior midfielder Camden Buescher scored the golden goal for Northwestern in the 99th minute of the match, controlling a loose ball right outside the Ramblers’ bos and striking it with his left foot to the near post.
The Wildcats defeated UKMC with a goal from junior forward Ty Seager, his first of the season.
Northwestern has not surrendered a goal at home yet this season, but recent history is not on their side when it comes to facing the Terps. Maryland has won the last two matchups in 2016 and 2017 by scores of 4-0 and 3-0, respectively. Sejdic scored in both matches.
The game is scheduled to kick off at 8 p.m. ET and will be broadcasted live on BTN Plus.
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