Nine goals— that is how many goals the Maryland men’s soccer team has produced in the last three matches. They had one game-winning goal from the start of the season at Washington on Aug. 24 through its matchup with Indiana on Oct. 12, the Terps had only scored 10 goals.
The Terps are preparing for their regular season closer at Michigan, and they are peaking at the perfect time. The Terps have 19 goals on the season and are averaging 1.27 goals per game. They also put up five goals, their most in a single game this season against Ohio State on Oct. 19.
But coming into the season with virtually an all-new offense, the Terrapin offense struggled with execution, to say the least.
The offense boasted a talented freshman class— including Brayan Padilla, the forward that was Top Drawer Soccer’s No. 58 recruit, and William James Herve, who has three goals this season— but it took some time for both new and veteran players to get acquainted with each other.
The Terps went four matches without a goal, until senior midfielder and captain Amar Sejdic finally found the back of the net against West Virginia on Sep. 10. Since then have only been shutout twice — a 2-0 loss to now No. 12 Michigan State and a 0-0 draw with Georgetown.
Sejdic himself has scored three goals in the Terps’ last two matches, with two on senior night and another in their overtime win over Penn State on Tuesday night.
Sebastian Elney also scored a goal on the Buckeyes, assisted by senior defender Chase Gasper, who tied a school record for assists in a single game with three.
“We have a lot of new players in the attacking areas, and we’ve rotated a lot and even changed our formation, but you can see the spacing, the timing, the third-man runs, the crispness was there,” Cirovski said.
Though seniors like Sejdic and Elney have stepped up their level of play in the tailend of the season, the true spark to the Terps’ offense has been Paul Bin.
He scored the game-winner to lift the Terps over then-No. 7 Denver and was the Terps’ saving grace Tuesday night, coming off the bench in the 84th minute of play and scoring the golden goal in the second overtime period.
Sitting out for the Ohio State game with a right ankle injury, Bin was not supposed to play Tuesday night, but when the Nittany Lions scored two unanswered goals to level the score at 2-2, Cirovski called on Bin.
“At 2-0 you didn’t think you needed him, but at 2-2 we needed him,” Cirovski said. “And we put him in and he came through in a big way.”
The junior forward only played in eight matches last season but has become a staple of the Terps’ offense Bin now has four goals on the season and, according to head coach Sasho Cirovski, exemplifies the progress that the Terps’ have made on offense throughout the season.
In addition to being the spark plug of the offense this season, Bin has also played the role of a mentor for the talented freshman class that has accounted for five goals so far this season.
“He’s been a mentor because I had a tough time in the beginning getting used to the team and relationships,” Lansade said. “He’s always been there and helping me and supporting me.”
Lansade, who scored his first-career goal on Tuesday night, believes that the offense is finally clicking after a beginning-of-the-season slump, which is key in the upcoming postseason play.
“At the beginning of the season we had a rough time and I want to thank our back line and our midfielders for being patient with us,” Lansade said. “Things are starting to work and we’re starting to score more goals and the feeling of the team is great.”
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