No. 8 Terps fall to errors, No. 5 AU, 3-1 Pearson capitalizes on mistakes, scores three

October 23, 1997|By Gary Davidson | Gary Davidson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

WASHINGTON -- It was bad enough that Maryland could have won the game. To get drubbed by a rival was particularly disheartening.

The eighth-ranked Terps looked good early, but Scott Pearson three times was the beneficiary of Maryland errors and his hat trick powered No. 5 American over the visitors, 3-1, in a non-conference soccer match yesterday at Reeves Field.

"We had quite a few chances, we couldn't get them on frame," Maryland midfielder Keith Beach said. "They finished the chances they had. It's unfortunate for us. We all made mistakes. It's very disappointing."

The Terps (10-3-1), losers of two of three, had several chances early, but they could not put a good shot on goal. The most costly miss came when Randy Merkel drilled a penalty kick off the crossbar in the 19th minute.

"If we score that first goal as well as we're playing, I think it's a different game," Terps coach Sasho Cirovski said.

Nine minutes later, Pearson coolly punched in a penalty shot after Maryland midfielder Steve Armas tugged Antonio Otero to the ground in the box. The Eagles (9-2-3), 7-0-2 in their past nine outings, did not relinquish the lead.

Usually steady Terps goalkeeper Andy Kirk made a terrible mistake in the 41st minute that allowed the Eagles to go up 2-0. Kirk handled defender Leo Cullen's back pass too casually and Pearson stripped him, easily converting his gift from six yards.

"It was a bad foul [by Armas]. He shouldn't have even tried to tackle the ball there," Cirovski said. "Then we give another goal away, a mental lapse there. That's uncharacteristic of Andy. It was a weird game, but I have to give credit to [the Eagles]. They took advantage of their opportunities."

Pearson put the match out of reach in the 58th minute. Standing wide open in the left side of the penalty area, he took Angel Lanchas' pass and beat Kirk from 12 yards for a 3-0 margin.

Jason Sardis' penalty kick in the 86th minute was inconsequential.

Pub Date: 10/23/97

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