The Maryland men's soccer team routinely plays in front of the largest crowds in college soccer at Ludwig Field. The Terps lead the nation in attendance for the second consecutive year and are the only team to average more than 4,000 fans.
But on Friday at Michigan State, Maryland visited an atmosphere it rarely experiences outside College Park.
It was the Spartans' first Big Ten home game played under their newly installed lights, and a record crowd turned out to watch the Terps earn a scoreless draw on a 91-degree night in East Lansing, Michigan.
Maryland coach Sasho Cirovski said the lively environment would help the team improve going forward.
"I have to credit my guys for putting in the work in a game that was probably the biggest stage in Michigan State's recent history," Cirovski said. "It was nice for our guys to play on the road in a good atmosphere and challenging environment."
More than 4,600 people — breaking the Spartans' previous attendance record by more than 1,100 — came to DeMartin Stadium to watch No. 3 Maryland (6-0-2, 2-0-2 Big Ten) battle No. 6 Michigan State (7-0-1, 2-0-1).
"Playing on the road in these conditions, getting guys experience who may not have had experience before," midfielder Jake Rozhansky said. "I think those are all really important."
While the evening start time helped bring the heat down, the players were still uncomfortable at kickoff. The team has dealt with heat throughout the season, Rozhansky said, but it still makes it more "tiring and exhausting" to play.
Cirovski substituted players frequently, given the temperature. Rozhansky was the only member of Maryland's attack who played all 45 minutes of the first half.
So, players like freshman Eric Matzelevich and sophomore Eli Crognale played important minutes in a hostile environment, gaining crucial experience for some of the team's first players off the bench.
Freshman Ben Di Rosa played Friday in place of defender George Campbell, a co-captain who started six of Maryland's first seven games but was nursing an injured hamstring.
It was the freshman's second start and sixth appearance of his career.
"Ben had a fantastic debut in a very difficult environment," Cirovski said. "All in all, George will be back very soon and Ben got some really good experience, so that was very positive."
Di Rosa played 97 minutes Friday. He was replaced by redshirt senior Emmanuel Korvah for 13 minutes.
Korvah, who has played forward throughout his time at Maryland, shifted to right back to help the team adjust without Campbell. In the senior's absence, the Terps tied a school record with their fifth consecutive clean sheet.
Despite many complicating factors — including a field Rozhansky said was harder than what Maryland's used to — the Terps earned a scoreless tie with the Spartans, a promising step forward after a poor performance against then-No. 4 Indiana two weeks ago.
"It's something we have to get used to," Rozhansky said, "because you never know what field we're going to play on in the postseason."