After trailing 2-0 in the first half, The University of Akron men’s soccer team responded with a goal in the second half, but it proved to be not enough, as they lost 3-1 to Maryland at Cub Cadet Field in Akron Saturday afternoon.
“After trailing 2-0 in the first half, The University of Akron men’s soccer team responded with a goal in the second half, but it proved to be not enough, as they lost 3-1 to Maryland at Cub Cadet Field in Akron Saturday afternoon.
With many opportunities to score, the Zips out-shot Maryland 10-7 with five of those shots on goal.
For me, it was a disappointing performance, said UA’s six-year Head Coach Caleb Porter. I thought we started the game slow and we dug ourselves a hole with a couple of bad mistakes, which led to goals for them.
Forward Darren Mattocks scored UA’s lone goal in the 78th minute from 22 yards out, nailing the ball into the upper left corner of the net.
The goal by Mattocks in the second half marked his third goal of the spring season, continuing in the same form as last season as one of the nation’s top scorers.
In the 21st minute, the Terrapins took a 1-0 lead when John Stertzer found Patrick Mullins on the left side of the field. Mullins was then able to draw an Akron defender in, when he then drove in the ball to the far post for the goal.
After the Maryland goal, Akron had a few chances to tie the game, but was denied each time as Maryland’s defense was up to the test.
The first chance came when midfielder Martin Ontiveros made a tremendous play to save the ball from going over the Maryland end line with a high volley back toward the box. The Terrapin keeper was off the line as Mattocks headed the ball to the right side of the net, but a Maryland defender was able to make the stop.
Two minutes later, midfielder Reinaldo Brenes drew a foul just outside the top right corner of the penalty box, setting up a free kick for midfielder Scott Caldwell. Caldwell bent the ball toward the back post, but defender Michael Balogun’s diving header was wide.
We had inconsistencies personal-wise, and I don’t think anybody was consistent for 90 minutes in their role, Porter said.
The Terrapins made it a 2-0 game in the 41st minute due to a breakaway goal from Matt Oduran.
Notre Dame College transfer Luke Holmes made his spring debut, starting the second half for the Zips and nearly getting a goal for Akron in the 52nd minute off a corner kick.
Following a pass from Caldwell, Holmes headed the ball from the middle of the penalty area toward the left post, but once again a Maryland defender was there.
Stertzer added Maryland’s third and final goal with a deep strike in the 66th minute.
I thought we responded better in the second half but then we gave up that third goal, Porter said. We have a lot of things to improve on and first off we need to show up with a better mentality.
For most of the guys I think it’s confidence, because a majority of the guys out there haven’t played a consistent amount of minutes because they were reserves, Porter said. These guys just need to start thinking like first team guys and less like reserves.
In the last two regular seasons, The Terrapins have advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals and have also won the National Championship in 2005 and 2008.
The Zips played Maryland last year in the spring season where they lost, coincidently, 3-1, prior to their NCAA Championship season.
The Zips, who are 3-2 in spring season play, will travel next to the Athletes in Action Showcase in Xenia, Ohio, where they will face Wright State, Notre Dame and Cincinnati on April 10.
Akron will return home on April 16 at 2 p.m. when they take on Xavier and again on April 27 to face Valparasio at 7:30 p.m.
“” #1.2142695:843339328.jpg:Mattocks, Darren:Darren Mattocks scored the lone goal in the 3-1 loss to Maryland Saturday. Akron has lost to Maryland 3-1 the last two spring seasons.:Ernie Aranyosi”