Men’s Soccer Live Blog vs. Maryland
– 60:00 – The Patriots will face No. 7 Maryland tonight at College Park. We’ll be blogging live from College Park to help keep you abreast of all the action.
– 30:00 – There’s a full moon rising (apologies to Credence Clearwater Revival) and it’s a perfect evening – clear and temperature in the low 70s. A sparse crowd is here at Ludwig Field to see the Patriots take on the fifth-ranked Terrapins. That’s right, fifth-ranked. A new NSCAA poll came out today and the Terrapins moved up two spots in the rankings. Last week the Patriots had received votes in the poll but after a 2-1 WIN over Richmond, the Patriots dropped out of the “Also receiving votes” category. Mason IS receiving votes in the College Soccer News poll, where Maryland is ranked fourth.
The Terps are 3-1-1 on the year. The tie was at Boston College, which was ranked fifth in the nation when they played them. The Eagles are now 10th. The loss was to Michigan State in the season opener. The Spartans are currently ranked 15th in the nation. In case you’re wondering, Akron is a unanimous No. 1.
– 10:00 – The starting lineups are in and freshman Sean Cote, who has been in net for three of Mason’s four wins, will start in goal. The back line will be Eric Zuehsow, Alex Herrera, Chase Miller and Draymond Washington. The midfield will consist of Derek Markheim, Eber Martinez, Brent Brockman and Ernesto Marquez. Wesley Sever and Victor Freeman will start at forward. The Terps have Zac MacMath in goal with Taylor Kemp, Ethan White, Alex Lee and London Woodberry on the backline, Doug Rodkey, Helge Leikvang, Billy Cortes and Matt Kassel in the midfield and Jason Herrick and Casey Townsend at forward.
1:00 – Maryland had the first real scoring chance in the first minute as a ball was crossed in the Mason box but Eric Zueshow got there to clear out. The throw-in gave Helge Leikvang a shot that went wide, keeping the Terps from an early 1-0 lead.
5:00 – The Terps definitely have an early strategy – send the ball over the top and try to beat Mason defenders to the ball. Eber Martinez had a nice stop but then committed a foul fiving Maryland a direct kick from 35 yards. The ball went into the box but Sean Cote collected it and quickly got it clear. Mason is having some trouble early getting the ball out of their defending third. Five minutes in and Maryland has had three decent chances already. An offsides call in the sixth minute kept it from being four decent chances.
10:00 – Some signs of life in the Mason offense. The Patriots dumped a ball in on the net that forced a nice play by Zac MacMath and then Brent Brockman had a cross to Victor Freeman which was JUST out of his reach or Mason would have a 1-0 lead. Freeman should draw some attention tonight as he scored both Mason’s goals in the 2-0 win at Fairfax last year as the Patriots upset the Terps when they were ranked No. 2 in the nation. We’re 10 minutes in and the Patriots seem to be adjusting to Maryland’s intensity level.
15:00 – Matt Kassel with an unimpeded look at the net shot it wide in the 13th minute. The Terps are getting the types of looks that no goalkeeper in the world could stop but the Patriots have gotten lucky as the shots have gone wide. A free kick in the 16th minute from 30 yards hit a three-man Mason wall and the rebound was brought in by Cote.
20:00 – Corner kick for Maryland in the 20th minute. Matt Kassel served it far post but Eric Zuehsow cleared it with his head. Sean Cote with a very smart play a few minutes later. The Terps served the ball, again right to left to the far post and the freshman looked like he was going to challenge, but he stayed home and collected a well-place header by Casey Townsend to pick up his first save of the night.
25:00 – Wesley Sever had a 1v1 opportunity in the 22nd minute on a breakaway but MacMath made an excellent sliding stop to keep the freshman forward from getting a shot off. Patriots finally seem to be pressing the attack and producing some opportunities. If any Mason soccer fans have questions about the match, just click on that “Leave a Comment” button at the bottom of this post to send them to the GoMason Blog.
30:00 – Doug Rodkey got DEEP into the Mason box but shot it wide. Cote got a hand on it leading to a Maryland corner. The Terps played it out rather than into the box and got a good look but did nothing with it. A few minutes later Mason mounted an attack and Freeman found himself TRIPLE covered. Seems the Terps remember the damage he inflicted last year as well.
35:00 – Casey Townsend played a through ball to Jason Herrick and Cote was unable to get to the ball first. Luckily Eric Zueshow was there to make a sliding stop of the shot which stopped a goal but led to a Maryland corner kick. Mason successfully defended the set piece. Mason brings on some new forwards with Alhagi Toure and Taylor Morgan coming on for Sever and Freeman. Ten minutes to go in the half.
37:00 – Free kick for Maryland from 20 yards out on the left wing. Kassel went far post and it was played through but the Terps picked up a corner on the play. Cote made a diving grab of the ball off the corner but lost it when he came down. It was cleared by Zuehsow but played right back into the box. This time Cote made a clean save. Toure on the attack on the quick counter gave Mason a chance to get its shape in the attacking third. That led to a Markheim shot but it was blocked by a Terrapin defender. We’re in the final six minutes of the first half.
40:00 – The refs definitely missed one there as Maryland misplayed a ball over top and Alhagi Toure got to it first only to have his jersey grabbed by a Terrapin defender. A professional foul for sure to stop the breakaway. Shot are 7-1 right now with four minutes to go before the intermission.
43:00 – Corners are now 5-0 as the Terrapins picked up another in the 43rd minute. That long ball over the top I’m certain will be addressed by head coach Greg Andrulis and assistant coaches Nick Carlin-Voigt and John O’Hara at the half. We’re seconds away from halftime.
45:00 – The Patriots picked up a pair of corner kicks in the final 20 seconds of the half but the stat sheet will read 5-1 on the corners since the Patriots weren’t able to get to the ball in time to launch the second one. They might have rushed the first one as well so realistically, it’s still a huge advantage for Maryland.
Here are your halftime stats. Shots are 7-1 in Maryland’s favor. Shots on goal are 2-0 with Cote making saves on both attempts. Mason has committed five fouls to Maryland’s three. Offsides are Maryland 3, Mason 2.
Remember to click HERE if you have a comment or question about the match/players. Thanks to Cadmium for the question about Chase Miller.
AT THE HALF… No. 5 Maryland 0, George Mason 0
45:00 – Second half is underway. Same lineup for Mason as started the game. The Patriots haven’t put a shot on goal yet and when they do, they have one of the nation’s top goalkeepers in Zac MacMath waiting to stop the shot. MacMath was first-team All-ACC last year as a sophomore and a third-team NSCAA All-American.
50:00 – So Maryland has already put a shot on goal just five minutes into the second half. The Patriots have also been whistled for two fouls in their defending third. Despite those chances, Maryland definitely doesn’t look as sharp and intense as it did to start the match. That might actually play into the Terrapins favor though, as the adrenaline may have been a factor in all those wide shots.
55:00 – Maryland takes a 1-0 lead in the 55th minute. Matt Kassel on a free kick from 35 yards out sent the ball to the far post where London Woodberry got his BACK on the ball to put it in the near post.
60:00 – Maryland fans need to get up-to-date on their mascot news. They just finished chanting “We want Gunston.” They also are singing “Don’t Stop Believing” as a taunt. Someone tell them it’s “Living on a Prayer.”
61:00 – Cote with a very nice save off a Maryland corner in the 60th minute. He then cleared up a through ball. Cote has played well and today, especially without Fro Adu on the back line. The senior likely won’t see action due to injury. Here comes a Mason corner.
62:00 – Wesley Sever’s corner went back post but didn’t produce a solid look.
64:00 – Maryland makes it 2-0 off a free kick. A Kassel free kick from 30 yards out was deflected in off a Mason defender. Looks like it was Miller but it might have been Brockman.
72:00 – The last two times these teams faced it produced a 2-0 final. Mason with the win last year and Maryland with the victory in 2008 in the NCAA Tournament. The Terrapins went on to win the national title that year. In 2007, Maryland won 3-0. The last time this match wasn’t a shutout for one team was 2003 when it was a 5-1 final. Mason throw-in deep in the attacking third produces a shot wide.
75:00 – Cote with a phenomenal save off a blistering Patrick Mullins shot from 15 yards. The freshman got his hands up just in time to send the ball into the stands. Kassel, who has been dangerous setting things up tonight took the ensuring corner which did not produce a shot.
80:00 – The Maryland fans have been riding Sean Cote hard the past 10 minutes and he doesn’t seem to have noticed. The play is getting a bit more physical now as each team has received a yellow card. Mason’s was given to Parker Walton.
85:00 – As we reach the final five minutes, it’s clear that Maryland isn’t going to do anything to try to add to this lead, instead settling for a 2-0 win. The defense is packed tight with the midfielders dropping early. The defenders are closing early on Mason forwards to prevent long balls from doing any damage and there is little space for a through ball.
90:00 – That will do it from College Park as the Patriots fall to Maryland, 2-0. The Patriots just played what might be the best team they will face all season on the cusp of the CAA regular season starting. They know now what their level of play needs to be if they want to win the conference or earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Old Dominion beat William & Mary 1-0 tonight. Mason plays there at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Thanks for joining us tonight and look for more live blogs at Mason events in the future.