Rutgers falls to No. 5 Maryland in double-overtime in crushing loss
It was a chance to make the pain of four straight losses go away.
Getting outscored 12-0 in the first four contests, the Rutgers men's soccer team knew it had to show up Tuesday night with some firepower hosting No. 4 Maryland.
But all didn’t go as planned.
The pattern continued for the Scarlet Knights, yet again allowing an early goal that cost them in a tightly contested game that ended in a 2-1, double-overtime loss.
“Maryland kept coming at us,” said head coach Dan Donigan. “And to have to keep weathering that storm, at some point you might break and leak and that’s exactly what happened. Credit to Maryland, but I am very proud of the performance from my group.”
A reckless foul by junior forward Kyle Goodwin in the fifth minute allowed Big Ten leading scorer Gordon Wild to land a penalty kick past junior goalkeeper David Greczek, giving the Terrapins a 1-0 lead.
Maryland controlled possession for a majority of the first half, but Rutgers took advantage of some possession just over half way into the first half, earning a corner kick.
Junior forward Ryan Peterson whipped in a cross that was cleared out to junior midfielder Dante Perez, who took control of the ball as it headed towards a Maryland defender.
Perez made some quick moves with the ball shortly before displaying some dance moves of his own as his shot would go in.
Perez' shot deflected off of a Maryland defender and landed into the top left of the net, tying the game at a goal a piece as the Knights scored their first of the season.
“I got subbed into the game a couple minutes before,” Perez said. “I thought about testing him, seeing how it would go took my first touch, just let it hit and I got a lucky deflection that happened to go and brought the team up.”
That would be the only shot that Rutgers would attempt in the first half versus the eight Maryland would attempt.
The Knights would show some life towards the end of the first half, swapping possession with the Terps, but nothing was scored the remainder of the half between the two teams.
The second half started hot for Maryland as it was shooting from all over the field.
The most intense 30 seconds of the game came in the 63rd minute when junior midfielder Jake Rozhansky shot the ball aiming for the Rutgers net.
Greczek dove to his left, and with his right hand slapped the ball over the goal post and kept the game tied at one.
Two minutes later, Greczek would come out and make another incredible save to deny Rozhansky once again.
But seconds after, Rozhansky shot again, and with Greczek out of the goal, senior midfielder Ross Tetro stepped right in and cleared it off the line, rejecting the third Maryland shot in a total of two minutes.
“That’s what we needed,” Donigan said referring to Tetro’s amazing fill-in save. “That’s the kind of response, and that’s the kind of play and performance we needed from our guys to be able to come back from this tough start.”
The Knights didn't have any attempts in the second half while Maryland had nine.
Greczek’s outstanding goalkeeper play kept Rutgers around, as he made a total of eight saves in regulation.
The Terps executed 17 shots in regulation, all coming from five different players.
Junior striker Jason Wright, who played left midfield instead of his usual forward position the entire game as Rutgers played compact defense to withstand the barrage from the opposition, took a shot with 30 seconds remaining in the second half.
The shot went in, and all of Yurcak Field screamed — but it didn’t count, as he was offside.
Overtime was going to have to decide the contest.
In the first overtime, both teams split possession trying to find an opportunity to score, but neither team was able to put one in, as the game would enter the final overtime.
In the 103rd minute, sophomore forward Sebastian Elney took a shot right in front of the goal which again was stopped by Greczek for his 10th save of the game.
The ball was then rebounded by Rozhansky and shot past Greczek, giving the Terrapins a 2-1 double overtime win and handing Rutgers its fifth loss in a row.
Although the Knights suffered their fifth straight loss, Donigan is proud of what he saw out of his keeper.
“He stood on his head,” Donigan said describing Greczek’s play. “David's very capable, he’s a future professional. He made some outstanding saves, and where we are right now we need those saves and those performances from him, he was fantastic.”
On a night where Rutgers students kept filing into Yurcak, it just seemed fitting for the Knights to get an upset win against their Big Ten rival Maryland.
Although Rutgers was unable to pull the upset off, Donigan is pleased with his team’s effort and believes this is the start of something new.
“Even though it’s a double overtime loss against one of the best teams in the country,” Donigan said. “It’s the beginning of something better for us.”
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