Crognale’s 2 goals lead Maryland past Hofstra on Senior Night

Maryland Men's Soccer warms up ahead of their matchup with Hofstra. Photo by Justin Fitzgerald.
Maryland Men’s Soccer warms up ahead of their matchup with Hofstra. Photo by Justin Fitzgerald.

The No. 1 University of Maryland Men’s Soccer team (13-0-2) remained undefeated Friday night with a 2-1 win over Hofstra University (8-6-1).

It was Senior Night at Ludwig Field on Friday, and senior defender Alex Crognale shined with two goals in the victory.

Maryland also honored Cody Albrecht,  Suli Dainkeh, Emmanuel Korvah, Cody Niedermeier, and Chris Odoi-Atsem in a pregame ceremony.

“I thought the seniors led the way, and the rest of the players filled in,” head coach Sasho Cirovski said.

Albrecht, Crognale, and Niedermeier made starts in their final game at Ludwig, and Odoi-Atsem, would have joined them if he hadn’t suffered a concussion on Tuesday against American University. He was replaced by freshman Donovan Pines, who made just his second start of the season.

“Donovan came in and did a good job,” Crognale said. “Obviously there’s a learning curve as a freshman,  but time and time again this year he’s come in and done his part.”

Despite only out-shooting the Pride 5-3 in the first half, the Terps were able to take a  2-0 lead.

Marlyand  got on the board early when Alex Crognale scored off a free kick in the fifth minute. Amar Sejdic’s free kick bounced around the box, and Gordon Wild tapped it to the senior, who blasted it into the top left corner of the goal.

The reigning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week added another goal on a header in the 20th minute. Once again, the goal came off a free kick from Sejdic. It was Crognale’s sixth goal of the season, and his second multi-goal game in 2016.

“He’s playing like a monster,” Niedermeier said of Crognale. “I’m okay with him scoring every goal for the rest of the season.

Hofstra had two solid chances on goal in the first half, but was stopped by  Niedermeier both times. The redshirt senior saved a shot from Luke Brown, and then stopped a rocket from Mani Walcott in the 25th minute.

Hofstra was the more aggressive team in the second half.  The Pride had a solid chance in the 65th minute, but Meshack Eshun Addy had his shot stopped by Niedermeier, and Luke Brown put one high. Hofstra went on the attack again in the 72nd minute, but Joseph Holland and Adam Savill had shots blocked and Daniel Massey put a shot high.

Then in the 72nd minute,  Holland was pushing towards the goal, but Pines came charging in at the last second to block the shot.

Maryland put a counter attack together in the 82nd minute. Eryk Williamson pushed the ball by two Hofstra defenders, and then passed it to Sebastian Elney, who put one off the right crossbar.

“We did a lot of defending in the second half,” Cirovski said. “We didn’t have the energy we had in the first half, but we still had two chances in the flow of play to get a goal there.”

After pushing the whole second half, the Pride finally got on the board in the 84th minute. Brown sent a pass to Addy on the right side, and he curled the ball in the left side of the goal.

They had one more chance in the final minute, but Cody Albrecht cleared it to seal the  victory.

Maryland has now won 10 straight games, and is two wins away from its first undefeated regular season since 1968. The Terps will look to get one step closer to that on Tuesday, when they take on the University of Delaware at Ludwig Field.

Photo by Justin Fitzgerald

 

 

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