The magnitude of Tuesday night's home game against the seventh-ranked Maryland men's soccer team was not lost on Loyola, presenting another opportunity to boost the Greyhounds' status among the nation's elite programs.
But the Terrapins, who have won two national championships in the past five years, are used to having that bull's-eye on their backs. Maryland took control with an early own goal and later pulled away on convincing headers by Patrick Mullins and Matt Oduaran for a 3-0 victory before an announced 2,090 at Loyola's posh Ridley Athletic Complex in Woodberry.
"Generally speaking, this was a great night for college soccer to get a great crowd like this," Maryland coach Sasho Cirovski said. "We've worked 17 years to get a bull's-eye on our back. That's what we want. We take a lot of pride [in] what we built in Maryland. When we play teams, we're gonna get their best. This had the feel of a playoff type of game."
Loyola (1-2-1) has scored just three goals in four games. The Terps (2-1-1) are averaging three goals per game and now lead the series 27-8-6. Maryland outshot the Greyhounds 21-10.
Maryland used mostly one- and two-touches to move the ball around Loyola's wide field. The Terrapins took the lead in the 38th minute when Mullins carried the ball deep into the penalty area and his shot deflected off a Loyola defender for an own goal.
Loyola pushed more players forward in the second half and Eddie Dines narrowly missed tying the game in the 47th minute when his shot from 18 yards went just wide. The Greyhounds' Stephen Dooley almost had an open shot on goal, but he was fouled by London Woodberry just outside the penalty area.
"I'm really pleased we hosted an event like this," Loyola coach Mark Mettrick said. "We got over 2,000 fans on a Tuesday night. It's good for local soccer and college soccer in Baltimore. I think we knew going in they were a quality side, and it showed tonight."
The Terps were composed throughout the game and opened a two-goal margin in the 61st minute when Doug Rodkey placed a deft chip between two Loyola defenders onto the head of Mullins, who drove the ball into the middle of the goal. Oduaran struck again 12 minutes later when he headed down a cross from Woodberry from 9 yards.
"Sash has been harping on us all week, and pretty much the whole season, to get the ball into the wide areas," Mullins said. "All of our goals tonight came off good crosses."
Maryland 1 2 — 3
Loyola 0 0 — 0
Goals: M—Own goal, Mullins, Oduaran. Assists: M—Rodkey, Woodberry. Saves: M—MacMath 2; L—Wittman 4. Half: M- 1-0.