The Maryland Terrapins soccer team took the pitch on Monday night in their home opener after dropping the season opener at Louisville on Friday night. A much more aggressive Maryland team came to play against a battle tested Coastal Carolina team. The Terps went into the half tied, but pulled away in the second half and won 3-2 over #17 Coastal Carolina.
Friday was the season opener for both teams who started the season ranked in the preseason top 20. Maryland went on the road and lost to Louisville in a game that they dominated but couldn’t find the back of the net. Coastal Carolina on the other hand, went on the road to #8 UConn and fell behind 2-0, but rallied back thanks to senior Ricky Garbanzo, who had two assist and the game winning goal to beat the Huskies 3-2.
Sporting the third kit seen so far this season, a Where’s Waldo styled red and white kit, Maryland excited the home fans with spectacular passing and great defending. In particular, Maryland’s right back Jereme Raley, who spent the night setting up the midfielders and frustrating Garbanzo, who he baited into a first half yellow card. Raley wasn’t the only senior for the Terrapins who played a great game, Herman Trophy watch list midfielder Dan Metzger got the Terrapins on the board early. After struggling to deliver playable balls on set pieces vs Louisville, Mael Corboz sent a corner kick that Matzger was able to play perfectly off his head and past the goalie, Devin Cook-Perales.
The Terrapins sophomores though, were the ones who stole the show. Michael Sauers and Daniel Johnson didn’t start at Louisville, but were both in the starting eleven today, and Sasho’s faith in them was well deserved. Johnson and Sauers were fantastic with the ball on their feet, breaking down defenders and pressuring the Coastal Carolina defense. Sauers was rewarded for his hard work when he sent a cross into the box that freshman Jeroen Meefout couldn’t get too, but forced Cook-Perales out enough for the cross to sneak past and put Maryland up 2-1.
Another sophomore, Zack Steffen played a great game as well. Despite allowing two goals, the sophomore keeper made several saves down the stretch to preserve the Terrapins victory. One save in particular, with under 10 minutes left was the highlight of his night. Steffen laid out completely for a shot from just outside the 18 yard box and sent the shot out of bounds. The first goal from junior Bryce Follensbee came off a set piece, where the 6’2″ forward found the ball with his head and put in the upper 90 just out of Steffen’s reach. The second goal, also from Follensbee was poorly played by Steffen as he found himself in no man’s land and the forward one timed a shot through his legs.
Maryland’s third goal was set up by freshman Jake Areman who made a great run with the ball, and even though he lost if after spinning past a defender, Sauers was able to clean it up and send a pass into the box. After two more passes, senior Mikias Eticha ripped a shot that took a deflection off a Coastal Carolina defender and found the back of the net. The Falls Church native played a big role for the Terrapins off the bench with an assist and a goal.
Coach Cirovski is still finding difficulties up top at the forward position. Freshman George Campbell showed great pace and touch with the ball, and a couple of times showed off his burst of speed, but he was unable to find himself with any goal scoring opportunities. Fellow freshman Emmanuel Korvah, started alongside Campbell, and despite his great size (6’2″ 185) he was unable to control passes and link up with the midfielders. Sasho tried a third freshman, Jeroen Meefout (6’4″ 180), who has great size as well but like Korvah he was unable to win balls in the air. A fourth freshman, Eric Carbajal, was also used in a forward role, and while he had better success than Korvah and Meefout, he wasn’t able to create many chances. Maryland has a problem at the forward position, but with midfielders like Sauers, Endoh, Metzger, and Corboz they might be able to get by until one of these freshmen becomes comfortable with the role.
It wasn’t all bad news for Maryland’s freshman, as midfielder Jake Areman of Colts Neck high school showed off a lot of skill. Areman came off the bench in the first and second half, and in both of his appearances he was able to put pressure on the Coastal Carolina’s defense. He has great pace with the ball and an attacking mentality that seemed to be lacking on Friday. With Tsubasa Endoh out of the line up with a one game suspension, Areman used the opportunity to prove to Sasho that he should see more of the pitch. Never a bad thing to deal with as coach when young players seize opportunities to push up the pecking order.
The Terrapins won’t be off for long as they play host to regional rival UMBC on Friday. UMBC is currently ranked #19 and is 2-0 this season after beating Long Island 4-0 on Friday and Sacred Heart 2-1 on Sunday in the DoubleTree BWI Classic. Seniors Kay Banjo and Geaton Caltabiano each have two goals in the first two matches. UMBC has won the America East conference three times in the past four years, and were the preseason pick to win the conference this year. Maryland last played host to UMBC two years ago, and won 3-1 at Ludwig Field.
Maryland Starters vs Coastal Carolina
GK: Zack Steffen
Def: Alex Crognale, Mikey Ambrose, Jereme Raley, Chris Odoi-Atsem
Mid: Michael Sauers, Dan Metzger, Mael Corboz, Daniel Johnson
Forward: George Campbell, Emmanuel Korvah
Disciple: Alex Corgnale – Yellow (87′)
Goals: Metzger (8′), Sauers (62′), Eitcha (73′)