Dec 13, 2013; Chester, PA, USA; Maryland Terrapins forward Patrick Mullins (15) is congratulated by midfielder Tsubasa Endoh (31) after scoring a goal in the first half against the Virginia Cavaliers at PPL Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
The Maryland men’s soccer team kicked off their two game exhibition tour on Monday at Akron. Debuting new Maryland pride jerseys, the Terrapins cruised past the Akron Zips 3-0. All three Terrapin goals came in the first half, and within 11 minutes of each other.
The Terrapins return nine starters from last season’s National Championship runner up team, they did lose two critical pieces in Patrick Mullins and Schillo Tsuma of the offense and a key reserve, Jake Pace. Questions will remain throughout the season about the Maryland offense, but tonight they took a big step by scoring three goals in the first half. Akron is a strong team with high expectations this year after finishing last season with a 17-4-1 record and making it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Zips are starting this season ranked #13 in the NSCAA preseason polls.
David Kabelik got the Terrapins started, scoring 18 minutes into the game off of an Akron turnover in their defensive third. The junior from Hungary, scored two goals last season and appeared in sixteen games. Kabelik scored again in the 29th minute, this time from a rebound following a saved header.
The middle goal came in the 21st minute from a Mael Corboz penalty kick. Corboz scored seven goals and six assists as a freshman at Rutgers in the 2012 season. The junior midfielder lead Rutgers in points, and made first team All American Athletic Conference. Akron keeper, Jake Feniason, guessed the right way on the penalty kick, but was unable to come up with the save. Corboz also had an assist on Kabelik’s first goal.
After scoring three goals in the first half, the game slowed down greatly in the second half. Maryland had twelve shots in the first half, but only three in the second half, while Akron had two in the first and three in the second. Of the five shots from Akron, only two were on target and sophomore Zack Steffen saved one of them in the sixty minutes of action he saw tonight. Senior keeper, Jordan Tatum, played in the final thirty minutes of the game and recorded a save.
Maryland will wrap up their exhibition schedule on Saturday against Delaware at Ludwig field. Delaware is the preseason pick to win the Colonial Athletic Conference after returning eight starters from an NCAA Tournament team. Maryland’s defense and Zack Steffen will have their hands full with Guillermo Delgado. The sophomore from Spain, scored fifteen goals as a freshman and is the Colonial Athletic Conference Preseason Player of the Year and a 2014 MAC Herman Award candidate.