Last week was a big week for the Maryland men’s soccer team. Not only did they defeat a No. 7 Denver team on Tuesday night, but they followed that upset win with a commanding 5-0 win over Ohio State on Friday night.
According to head coach Sasho Cirovski, these two wins will give his team the confidence they need to face Penn State on Tuesday night and at No. 18 Michigan on Sunday.
“We’ve had chances like that against other teams and not put them away,” Cirovski said. “I’m just pleased that we’re starting to get some confidence in the final third.
The Terps (6-5-3, 3-3-0) took down Ohio State on senior night, and the seniors were at the top of the score sheet. Senior forward Sebastian Elney scored the first goal of the match in the 20th minute, assisted by fellow senior Chase Gasper for one of his three assists.
In the second half, the floodgates opened for the Terps. In the 62nd minute, senior midfielder Amar Sejdic scored his first of two goals on the night before scoring again 10 minutes later.
“I challenged both Amar and Sebastian to grasp the opportunity and raise their level of menace in the final third,” Cirovski said. “If we can get that kind of quality consistently, with they way that we defend as a team, I like where we’re headed.”
In the 77th minute, junior defender Donovan Pines scored his first goal of the season to make it 4-0. After Gasper assisted Pines’ goal, he tied a school record for assists in one game.
Sejdic now leads the Terps in goals with four, one more than freshman WIlliam James Herve.
Redshirt junior goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair, who was honored on senior night with the class he entered Maryland with, was only targeted two times Friday night, but has 49 saves on the season. St. Clair leads the Big Ten in save percentage, saving over 81 percent of the shots he’s faced this season.
Penn State (5-7-2, 2-2-2) and Maryland have met 46 times, with Maryland leading the all-time series 24-17-5.
The Nittany Lions are coming off a 1-0 loss to James Madison on Saturday, despite junior goalkeeper Arie Ammann making a career-high six saves against the Dukes.
Penn State was close to sending the match to overtime, but James Madison had other plans and scored the game-winning goal in the 86th minute of play.
The Nittany Lions were unable to find any legitimate chances on goal, only getting one shot the entire game. Out of the Dukes’ 17 shots, seven were on-goal, putting heavy pressure on Ammann in goal all night.
Freshman forward Jeremy Rafanello and senior forward Mac Curran lead Penn State in scoring this season with three goals apiece. The Nittany Lions have 13 goals this season and 12 against.
The key win of the season for Penn State came on Oct. 14, when they downed Wisconsin 1-0 thanks to Rafanello’s goal in the 80th minute.
The Terps and Nittany Lions are scheduled to kickoff at 6 p.m. and the match will be broadcasted live on the Big Ten Network.
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