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Rutgers men's soccer ties with No. 8 Maryland

The Rutgers men’s soccer team held No. 8 Maryland scoreless for 110 minutes, drawing 0-0 in College Park, Maryland.  – Photo by Samantha Cheng

Looking to bounce back from its first loss of the season, the Rutgers men’s soccer team battled to a 0-0 double overtime draw against Maryland tonight on the road at Ludwig Field. This marks its first draw against a top 10 opponent since a draw with No. 4 Indiana in 2016.

The Scarlet Knights (7-1-2, 1-1-1) collected two shots while the Terrapins (7-1-1, 2-0-1) had three shots in the opening half.

“Honestly, I thought (Rutgers) was fantastic tonight,” said head men's soccer coach Jim McElderry following the match. “This is a really tough place to play — (Maryland is) an excellent team, really good going forward, and we had some opportunities today.”

Rutgers lost two starters to injury in the first half, with senior midfielder Pablo Avila leaving the game in the 32nd minute with a leg injury and graduate student defender Vincent Borden leaving in the 43rd minute with a head injury. 

In the second half, Maryland had most of the attacking opportunities, outshooting the Knights by a 7 to 6 margin with a 3 to 2 margin in shots on target. Rutgers had some chances on the counterattack, including a chipped shot on a break by junior forward Jackson Temple in the 83rd minute that ricocheted off the right post. Junior goalkeeper Oren Asher had a double save late in the second half, finishing with seven saves on the night.

“When you play Maryland, you have to understand they’re going to be on top of you a little bit, but (you can) be patient and also take your chances,” McElderry said. “We had I think the two best chances of the game.”

After 90 scoreless minutes, the game went into extra time, with sudden-death golden goal rules in effect. The Terrapins still controlled much of the run of play, but the Knights got a one-on-one opportunity in the first period as Temple broke away from the backline, but his shot was saved by Niklas Neumann. Despite being outshot by Maryland 4-1 in extra time, the game ended in a scoreless draw, with both teams earning a point.

“We also had to move some guys around, some guys picked up an injury,” McElderry said. “We had to make some adjustments — I thought (junior defender) Hugo Le Guennec was unbelievable tonight — when we’re in tough moments, and when you play really good teams … I think we’re up there with those guys.”

After three games of Big Ten play, Rutgers has earned a win, loss and draw. The 0-0 result also means that the Knights remain undefeated against top 25 opponents. With that under their belt, they now have a week off before returning to the field with a home matchup against Penn State next Tuesday.

For updates on the Rutgers men's soccer team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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