Jake Rozhansky’s goal propels Terps men’s soccer to 2-1 double-overtime victory at Rutgers
Maryland men’s soccer midfielder Jake Rozhansky ripped his jersey off, spread out his arms and showed a sign of relief on his face before his teammates dog-piled him in celebration.
Through 103 minutes of the No. 4 Terps’ game at Rutgers on Tuesday night, Maryland was outshooting the win-less Scarlet Knights, 21-2, yet the contest was tied at one.
But after Rutgers goalkeeper David Greczek saved forward Sebastian Elney’s shot in the 104th minute, the ball bounced toward Rozhansky, who scored the game-winner to push the Terps to a 2-1 victory.
“We were in total control of the game,” coach Sasho Cirovski said. “You have to credit Rutgers. They competed extremely hard. Winning conference games on the road is not easy and the fact that we came out of here with a victory is a great thing.”
The Terps (4-0-2, 1-0-1 Big Ten) entered Tuesday coming off a 1-1 draw with No. 3 Indiana when Maryland got out to slow start and struggled with its ball movement, but defender Alex Crognale scored the equalizer goal in the 87th minute.
Maryland, though, controlled the pace Tuesday. The Scarlet Knights (0-5, 0-2) weren’t pressuring the Terps’ backline, so Maryland took its time to create quality opportunities.
That led to Maryland scoring in the sixth minute. Rutgers forward Kyle Goodwin fouled midfielder Jake Rozhansky in the box before forward Gordon Wild netted the penalty kick for his Big Ten-leading sixth goal of the season.
Maryland outshot Rutgers, 8-1, in the first half, but a miscue allowed Rutgers to score its first goal of the season in the 27th minute.
Midfielder Amar Sejdic failed to clear the ball in the Terps’ box off a corner kick and the ball rolled to Rutgers midfielder Dante Perez. From outside the box, Perez struck the ball into the top left corner of the net.
“It was a poor clearance,” Cirovski said. “It was one of those unfortunate balances. Our backline was fantastic today. The goal was just an outlier. When you limit a team on their home field to only two shots, that’s pretty good.”
Cirovski said the Terps lost “menace” in their attack after the goal. In the second half, Rutgers, who allowed three goals per match entering Tuesday, moved up its backline, which caused the Terps to be called offsides on multiple occasions. Meanwhile, Greczek saved 10 shots to keep Maryland off the board.
Last season, Maryland struggled at times to take advantage of its looks. That problem resurfaced Tuesday. But in overtime, Cirovski said his team played more direct, which opened up other opportunities.
So on the Terps’ 22nd attempt, they found the back of the net 98 minutes after scoring at the beginning of the match to win their first road game of the season and avoid an upset.
“It looked like it was only a matter of time before we scored,” Cirovski said. “It was a little too close for my liking.”