Terps dominate UCLA despite missing 2 stars

Maryland 4 UCLA 1

College soccer

September 03, 2006|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Sun Reporter

COLLEGE PARK -- Even without its two midfield stalwarts, the No. 1-ranked Maryland men's soccer team was too much for UCLA yesterday. On rain-soaked Ludwig Field, the Terrapins dominated throughout a 4-1 victory over No. 10 UCLA, one of seven Top 25 teams on their schedule.

Maryland (3-0) played without both Maurice Edu (back spasms) and A.J. Godbolt (flu-like symptoms), two of the three players featured on the cover of the team's media guide. Coach Sasho Cirovski said "there was no need to risk playing them this early in the year."

As it turned out, they weren't needed. The Terps played crisply and aggressively, built a 3-0 lead and coasted to an impressive victory that raised their home record to 50-3-3 during the last four-plus years.

"We played very inspired and connected," Cirovski said. "We were excellent in the transition game and that led to our victory against one of the most talented teams in the country. Defensively, it was our best effort."

The third player on the media guide cover, junior Stephen King, fed Jason Herrick on the first goal and scored the second with Herrick assisting to give the Terps a 2-0 lead at the break. King chalked up another assist - this one to Jeremy Hall - only a minute and 16 seconds into the second period to virtually cement the outcome.

UCLA, which recruited the top-rated freshman class in the nation, was clearly not as well synchronized on offense as Maryland, whose newcomers were ranked fourth. The Bruins were credited with just two fewer shots (14-12) but Terps goalkeeper Chris Seitz was required to make a mere two saves.

About the only drawback of the game for Maryland was that Seitz allowed his first goal of the season. UCLA's Maxwell Griffin headed in a pass from Sal Zizzo with 30:28 remaining in the game to narrow the gap to 3-1. Maryland's Graham Zusi scored the final goal from more than 25 yards away.

"We were excited and remembered the game last year [UCLA won 4-0 in Los Angeles]," said King, who raised his point total to a team-leading eight. "One of the things we needed to work on was team chemistry, and I think we've gotten a lot better. We were missing two of the best midfielders in the country, and this showed how deep we are."

"We had a lot of new guys coming in, but the chemistry was so good," said Herrick, a freshman who is wearing the No. 9 of last season's all-everything forward Jason Garey. "Everyone is a threat. We moved the ball around great."

The match was postponed from Friday night because of the heavy rainfall that moved through the area, but 4,020 still braved the elements, including a substantial and vocal student contingent.

"That was amazing, considering the game was postponed like this," Cirovski said. "I want to thank them all."

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