When Maryland men's soccer's 31-game regular season undefeated streak ended with a 1-0 loss to No. 13 Georgetown on Tuesday, coach Sasho Cirovski said his team "needed a loss."
After the Terps dropped a 1-0 game to Coastal Carolina at Ludwig Field on Friday, they have two. And having lost consecutive home games in one season for the first time in more than 15 years, the team's message was much less positive.
"We just need to come out and compete harder. It's as simple as that," captain George Campbell said. "With the guys we have and the talent we have, there's no reason anybody should keep us to two goals. It's happened twice [in a row] now."
Against Georgetown, Maryland (10-2-3) felt its play was merely mediocre rather than outright poor. The Terps outshot the Hoyas 7-1 in the first half, but struggles in the final third allowed Georgetown to score in the 88th minute for a 1-0 win.
Cirovski thought the loss to the Hoyas would give his team a spark. Instead, he said the quick turnaround hurt the Terps, and the Chanticleers (7-6) were on the front foot from the opening whistle.
"It seems they came out with more fire and they want it more," Campbell said. "It's something that, internally as a whole team, we need to get together and figure out."
In the 38th minute, thanks to an excellent individual effort from forward Frantzdy Pierrot, Coastal Carolina's strong play was rewarded with a goal. With his back to goal, Pierrot chested a long throw-in up in the air and used his right foot to flick it over his head, across the face of goal and just inside the far post.
The Terps nearly answered in the 41st on one of their best chances of the game, but Chanticleer goalkeeper Braulio Linares-Ortiz saved midfielder Jake Rozhansky's shot after a crisp cross from Gordon Wild.
"Again, [we] have two great looks in the first half and there was no teeth in the shot," Cirovski said. "We didn't make it hard for the goalkeeper. … We dug ourselves a hole."
It was the first time all season Maryland has trailed at the half.
But on the brink of losing consecutive games at home for the first time in over 15 years, the Terps hardly mustered any offense.
It was an abysmal performance from a team that seemed on track for its second consecutive undefeated season just five days ago. The Terps finished with three second-half shots, their second-least productive half of the season. The only worse period came in the previous nadir of the season, a Sept. 8 scoreless draw with Indiana.
"We have to figure out what we want," Campbell said. "We have every piece that's there to win and to make a really good run at this thing."
Wild, who hasn't found the net in a career-worst nine straight games, had a shot blocked in the final minute. After blasting the ball away, Chanticleer defender Yazeed Matthews gave an emphatic fist pump after blasting the ball out of bounds with about 30 seconds remaining.
The last time the Terps dropped two straight at Ludwig Field in one year was the 2000 season, when they lost four consecutive games in College Park. They finished that campaign 10-9-0, one of just two years under Cirovski they failed to make the NCAA tournament.
After the buzzer sounded, Matthews smashed the ball across the field and leapt with his teammates in jubilation after the upset win, the second time in four days Maryland watched an opponent celebrate at Ludwig Field.
"Just looking around at everyone, the faces of everybody is absolutely demoralized from this," Campbell said. "We'll definitely be back at Ludwig — I don't even know when the next game is — but we'll be back and I guarantee we'll be competing a lot harder than we were tonight."