Men’s soccer ties top ranked Maryland
The Seton Hall men’s soccer team held off the nation’s top team on Tuesday as they finished a scoreless draw against the Maryland Terrapins at Owen T. Carroll Field.
The Pirates (3-2-2) faced 24 shots in the game, only four of which were on goal. Freshman Mario DeClerico made his first career start in net for the Hall and made four saves, playing the entire 110 minutes.
Maryland (7-0-1) had the first clear chance on goal in the ninth minute when midfielder Jeremy Raley slipped passed a defender and found himself six yards away from goal. Senior captain Joe Baker got back just in time to make a sliding block and turned it away for a throw in.
The Terps had another goal scoring opportunity 24 minutes later when Raley found the team’s leading scorer Casey Townsend on a through ball to the right side. Townsend dribbled right, through a pair of defenders, and rang the ball off the crossbar before it was cleared by the Seton Hall defense.
Defense was the story all game long as Seton Hall had to deal with shot after shot from the Maryland midfield. The Pirates were outshot 20-5 by the end of regulation.
According to coach Manny Schellscheidt, the team played excellent at the back.
“It was a collective team effort on defense,” Schellscheidt said. “Maryland is a great team and the entire team played well at the back, across the board.”
Schellscheidt also specifically lauded the efforts of Baker and freshman defensive midfielder Kai Greene who had several blocked shots apiece in the match.
The Pirates’ best goal scoring opportunity came in overtime, when senior Giovanni Zammiello attempted a shot from around 35 yards away from goal. His shot sailed up and above the right side of the crossbar, barely missing it much to the chagrin of the packed crowd.
The draw against Maryland marks the fourth straight season Seton Hall has drawn a ranked opponent. Last season, the Hall tied No. 4 Wake Forest on the road.
According to coach Schellscheidt, the rough non-conference schedule is exactly what the team needed.
“This team is young and inexperienced,” the coach said. “The tough thing about college soccer is that no two games are ever alike. This is good preparation for our young players.”
The Pirates will head to Chicago, I.L. to kick off their Big East schedule against the DePaul Blue Demons on Saturday, September 24 with a 2 p.m. kickoff time.
John Lopiano can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.