No. 2 Maryland 3, No. 13 William and Mary 0
A play’s opening night is never judged based on its dress rehearsal. So No.13 William and Mary (12-3-2) should take heart. There will be better nights than the one the Tribe had Tuesday.
The College lost 3-0 to No. 2 Maryland in College Park, Md. Tuesday in what was billed as a preview of potential NCAA Tournament matchup. One team, the Terps, lived up to its billing, while the Tribe looked like it was not quite ready for primetime.
“I just don’t think we came out the way we know we are capable of,” Assistant Coach Chuck Connelly said, filling in for Head Coach Chris Norris who remained home in Williamsburg due to an illness. “The one thing we stressed to these guys beforehand was that Maryland likes to come out and play a high-tempo game early. We just did not have a good start.”
The Terps scored before most players even broke a sweat. In the second minute of the match, Maryland midfielder John Stertzer played a ball from forward Casey Townsend to the left side of the box for forward Jason Herrick. After going one-on-one with a defender, Herrick laced a shot towards senior Tribe goalkeeper Andrew McAdams.
McAdams, who approached Herrick tentatively, could only get a hand on the ball before it found the back of the net to give the Terps and early 1-0 lead.
“He hit the ball well and it ricocheted off my arm,” McAdams said. “I just didn’t get it.”
Herrick’s goal set the tone for the first half, perhaps the worst half of soccer the Tribe has played this season. Maryland spent most of the first 20 minutes of the half in the attacking third of the field, while the College was hardly able to push the ball across the midfield stripe.
Senior mifielder Nat Baako and sophomore midfielder Ben Anderson could not connect with their targets on the wings. Senior back Derek Buckley and freshman back Will Smith were repeatedly caught out of position in the middle as the Tribe left acres of space for the Maryland attackers to see the field.
In all, the College looked every bit the mid-major and not the No. 13 team in the country.
“For some reason we just didn’t show up today in the first 45 minutes, especially in the first 20 minutes,” Baako said. “We failed to show up and we paid for it.”
Maryland added to its margin in the 28th minute when forward Casey Townsend one-timed a volley sent into the box into the back of the net to give the Terps a 2-0 halftime lead.
Although the College came out much more aggressive in the second half, it was unable to dig out of an early hole as its few shots went begging. Anderson had the best look of the second half, ripping a shot from the top of the box top shelf. But Maryland goalkeeper Zac MacMath punched the ball over the crossbar to deny the sophomore midfielder.
The Maryland lead remained 2-0 until the 58th minute when midfielder Paul Torres scored off a rebound of a shot from Towsend. Towsend’s shot forced McAadams to the ground, as the Maryland forward made a run past Smith and Buckley who both slipped on the play.
From there, all Torres had to do was direct the ball towards the far post to give the Terps a 3-0 lead.
Tuesday’s loss snaps the Tribe’s unbeaten streak at 10 games and hands the College its first loss since Sept. 21. It also marked the end of a stretch of three games in six days in which the Tribe went 1-1-1.
“In all fairness to these guys, we had a long week,” Connelly said. “It’s not an excuse, but we got back six o’clock Sunday morning from Hofstra, we played double overtime there. We played double overtime against [UNC] Wilmington. We had a long week, but we have to be better. We have to understand that these games are important and that we have got to have a better start.”