Before Maryland men's soccer's 8 p.m. kickoff against Rutgers on Tuesday, the coaching staff asked the team to watch film.
Rather than just dissect the Terps' struggles in their last game — a scoreless tie versus Indiana — or scout what the Scarlet Knights had done in their first few games of the year, the team watched video from the beginning of the 2016 season.
The exercise helped forward Gordon Wild rediscover his role in the attack and helped No. 3 Maryland reverse its disappointing play against Indiana with a 3-0 win over Rutgers.
"It happens that we play once in a while [and] it's not a good game," defender Johannes Bergmann said. "But it's important that we show a reaction, that we try to play better the next game."
Though the Terps shut out the Hoosiers to hold on for a tie, the team treated the result like a loss because of its poor level of play on offense.
"We all tried to figure some stuff out," Wild said.
Wild set aside time to reflect on his poor performance against Indiana, in which he took five shots — four of which came from outside the box — and didn't put any on target.
"[Wild's] been drifting a little too far wide, and he's been too far from the goal," Maryland coach Sasho Cirovski said. "He's a goal-scorer. We have to get him closer to the goal."
Wild's 17 goals last year were tied for second in the nation. He entered Tuesday with three goals in the Terps' first five games, and none of those conversions came from open play — a pair of penalty kicks and a free kick made up his three tallies.
"It's a difficult feeling, being out [away from the box]," Wild said. "I felt like I was a little bit out of space."
The junior corrected that Tuesday, an improvement aided by the Terps' switch to the 4-4-2 formation they used last year. Maryland scored a pair of simple goals from point-blank range thanks to crosses from midfielders Eryk Williamson and Jake Rozhansky.
"One of the things I want to be able to do this year is to be able to use different tactical systems as necessary," Cirovski said. "Sometimes in-game and sometimes out of game."
In addition to the change in offensive approach, Cirovski also called on Wild and the rest of the attackers to aid the team's defense, which held strong against Indiana while the Hoosiers constantly threatened to score.
"Our midfielders helped a lot more [against Rutgers]," Cirovski said. "And our forwards helped [the backline] by taking a little pressure off of them by scoring goals and holding balls."
That, combined with a renewed emphasis on second balls, helped the Terps limit Rutgers to just three shots, and Maryland recorded its third consecutive shutout and fourth in its first six games.
"Today, it was good," Cirovski said. "This is part of, just, the growth of a team. It's still early."