COLLEGE PARK-Two nationally ranked college men's soccer teams collided at windy Ludwig Field last night, and No. 8-ranked Loyola flinched.
Pressured relentlessly by a Maryland team they beat twice last season, the unbeaten Greyhounds were never in the game, dropping a 3-1 decision to the No. 10 Terps before 976 spectators.
Maryland rolled to a 13-0 shot advantage, a 4-0 edge in corner kicks and 2-0 lead on goals by Clarence Goodson (38th minute) and Sumed Ibrahim - a dominating first half.
Only several nifty saves by Loyola goalkeeper Reb Beatty kept the game from getting farther out of hand, and Maryland (4-1) went on to a 3-0 cushion on Nino Marcantonio's score nearly 15 minutes into the second half.
Loyola had reached higher in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll than at any time in 15 seasons before encountering a Terrapin squad that had lost only to Kentucky in the Virginia Classic at Charlottesville.
"We played pretty close to a flawless game," said Terp coach Sasho Cirovski. "We were very much in control the first half. I thought the second goal was really a key."
That one came with three seconds remaining before halftime by Ibrahim, Maryland's leading scorer with 12 points. It took a lot of steam out of the Greyhounds (3-1).
"We kind of got caught ball watching on that one," said Loyola coach Mark Mettrick. "And their forward got behind our freshmen. That made it a different ball game."
The Greyhounds finally scored in the 66th minute on a penalty kick by Niall Lepper, their all-everything sweeper. That was virtually the only action Maryland goalie Noah Palmer got all night.
"We didn't want to win just because they beat us and knocked us out of the [NCAA] tournament," said Ibrahim, a native of Ghana. "We need to win just to win. I think that goal just kind of knocked their confidence down."
Loyola tried to sit back in a defensive posture "and try to frustrate them," said Mettrick. "But we're young, and we got exposed a little bit. I'd rather have this happen now than in November."
The Terrapins, who have no seniors on their roster, have now outscored their opposition 18-5. They increased their lead in the all-time series with Loyola to 22-8-6.
Loyola 0 1 - 1
Maryland 2 1 - 3
Goals: L-Lepper; M-Goodson, Ibrahim, Marcantonio. Assists: M-Buete, Mediate, Diaz, Bertz, Marcantonio (cq, 5 assists on 3 goals)
Shots: L-5; M-20. Saves: L-Beatty 9; M-Palmer 1.