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Men’s soccer falls to No. 9 Maryland 6-1

In the “Battle for the DMV,” the Cavaliers struggled to find any momentum on the road against a top-ranked Terrapin team

<p>The Cavaliers were not able to keep up with Maryland Monday night, suffering a convincing loss.</p>

The Cavaliers were not able to keep up with Maryland Monday night, suffering a convincing loss.

In the fourth edition of the “Battle for the DMV,” Maryland proved to be the stronger side, overpowering Virginia 6-1 Monday night. The Cavaliers (2-2-0, 0-0-0 ACC) faced their toughest test of the season so far and were overwhelmed by the Terrapins’ (2-1-1, 0-0-0 Big Ten) attacking prowess and high press. 

The first action of the game was produced by Maryland’s press which put the Virginia defense under pressure, forcing them to make quick passes. The press led to a free kick for the Terrapins after a foul from senior midfielder Jeremy Verley to halt the attack. Despite the pressure, the Cavaliers managed to prevent any shot on goal in the first 10 minutes. On the other side, Virginia’s first chance came off of a counterattack led by junior forward Leo Afonso that ended in a shot off target by junior midfielder Axel Ahlander. 

The first goal of the game came from a Maryland attack that forced junior defender William Citron to commit a foul inside the box, leading to a penalty kick in the 21st minute. The penalty kick was scored by senior midfielder Malcolm Johnston with a shot into the bottom right corner. After a Virgina corner, a Terrapin counterattack nearly resulted in a goal as they outnumbered the Cavaliers four to two, but the opportunity was cleared away by graduate defender Moritz Kappelsberger. 

Maryland then scored again, this time by senior midfielder Justin Harris in the 42nd minute. He was virtually unmarked, cutting through the box to set himself up one-on-one with junior goalkeeper Holden Brown after a cross by Maryland graduate forward German Giammattei. Virginia managed six shots in the first period, but no effort was on target. 

To open the second half, Afonso was awarded a penalty kick after being taken down from behind to give the Cavaliers a chance to get back into the game. Unfortunately for Virginia, Afonso’s chance to spark a comeback was denied by senior goalkeeper Niklas Neumann. A few minutes later, the Terrapins added to their lead after a cross sent in from sophomore forward Joshua Bolma set up a header by senior defender Chris Rindov to make the score 3-0. 

Maryland continued to add to its lead, this time with a counterattack led by freshman forward Colin Griffith who played a through ball to Bolma who then found sophomore midfielder Griffin Dillon in the middle for a shot into the bottom right corner. Minutes later, a free kick from Cavalier junior midfielder Daniel Mangarov found junior forward Philip Horton who glanced the header just wide of the goal. A few possessions later, sophomore forward Kome Ubogu tested Neumann with a shot, but Neumann was up for the challenge and deflected the ball away. 

Maryland then piled on its fifth goal of the game scored by Bolma who also assisted the last two goals. Bolma won a contested ball on the doorstep of the goal leaving Brown with no chance to make a save. 

In the 81st minute, Virginia found the back of the net to walk away from Audi Field with a positive. The goal was set up by freshman midfielder Albin Gashi who intercepted a pass in the final third of the field and found Mangarov who was able to score despite Neumann getting a piece of it. Two minutes later, the Terrapins responded with an unassisted goal from Giammattei to make the final score 6-1. 

“They played with an intensity that caught us today,” Coach George Gelnovatch said. “We’ll learn from it and be ready to open ACC play on Friday.”

The Cavaliers return to action Friday at Klöckner Stadium to open ACC play against Virginia Tech in the Smithfield Commonwealth Clash. 


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