Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hammer

Last season, the Colonial Athletic Association's Georgia State posted a 7 and 1 record at home, beat North Carolina State and George Mason away, and got knocked out of the NCAA tournament in the first round with a one-nil loss to Duke.  The breakout season was good enough to land the Panthers a spot in the RPI's top fifty nationally amongst men's college soccer programs.

Things haven't gone that well for Georgia State this year -- Duke beat them 3-0 in Durham and losses to Evansville, Mercer, and Towson preceded tonight's visit to Ludwig.

In the box score, it was a thrashing.  22 shots for Maryland versus one solitary shot for the Panthers (in the loss to Duke, Georgia State managed nine shots to Duke's ten; in the first half, the Panthers outshot the Blue Devils six to one).  From the seats, the game looked like a training exercise.  After Tsubasa Endoh scored a gorgeous opener from distance in the twelfth minute, Maryland continued to dominate possession but eschewed good shots for extravagant combination play to try and put the game away early.  The half finished a lackluster one-nil, with the match closed out early in the second half by a brace from Patrick Mullins... the first created largely by Sunny Jane's decision to stepover an angled grass cutter from the left side of the goal box that found the far corner of goal, while the second was simply bundled by Georgia State's German keeper.

Based on the individual talent displayed by some of Georgia State's players at various moments during the match, the game should not have been as one-sided.  Seventeen of the players on the roster list a hometown in Georgia.  The seven without Georgia addresses all hail from foreign countries (Canada, Zimbabwe, Ireland (2), Chile, Germany, and the United Kingdom) -- including a player that represented Chile's U-17 side, a kid from Waterford United's youth setup, and another from Walsall's.  They looked disorganized, but not incompetent, and yet Maryland blew them off the pitch without urgency or particular passion.

Without Taylor Kemp, without Helge Leikvang, without Dan Metzger, without John Stertzer, Maryland waltzed.

Impressive.

    

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