Nov. 3, 2006
BOYDS, Md. - The top-seeded Duke Blue Devils defeated fourth-seeded Maryland, 1-0, on November 3 in the semifinals of the 2006 ACC Men's Soccer Championship. Joe Germanese tallied the lone goal in the match in the 40th minute for Duke. The game was played in front of a Maryland SoccerPlex record crowd of 7,119.
"It felt like Duke won the battle in the midfield today," head coach Sasho Cirovski said. "We needed to do well in those places, but as the game went on, their wide midfielders did a much better job than ours. Duke played very direct today and put our backs under a lot of pressure. I give them credit. I thought they defended very well."
Duke dominated the first half firing off 15 shots and allowing just two. With 8:15 expired from the starting whistle, the Blue Devils created a dangerous chance and took three shots in the Maryland box. Terp defenders blocked the first two attempts and then Seitz made a spectacular save to keep Duke off the board.
Maryland's first shot at goal came 15 minutes in off a corner kick. After sophomore Graham Zusi delivered the pass, the ball bounced around back to Zusi on the right side. He took aim at the goal but his shot sailed just wide to the left.
With 19 minutes left in the first frame, Mike Grella found open space in front of him with just keeper Chris Seitz to stop him. Grella continued in the box, but sophomore A.J. Delagarza came up with a huge hustle save to keep Grella from striking.
Zusi almost struck again with 14 minutes left when he took a direct kick after a Duke foul. He was 20 yards out to the left and took the shot, but it sailed just high and landed harmlessly on the top of the net.
Duke finally connected in the 40th minute when Spencer Wadsworth dribbled down the right side of the pitch. He took the ball to the end line and delivered a cross into the far side of the box. Joe Germanese was open on the far side and sent a header to the lower right corner to put the Blue Devils up 1-0 at intermission.
The first real chance for either side in the second half came with 16:13 left in the match. Freshman Omar Gonzalez took a throw-in deep in the offensive third and delivered it into the box. The ball bounced around in front of the goal and freshman Jeremy Hall finally got a clean look at the net. He took the shot but it rolled just wide to the right.
The Terps continued to get their chances and with five minutes left, were awarded a corner kick. Zusi sent a dangerous in-swinger, the ball was kicked around, and junior Maurice Edu finally got a solid foot on it, but his shot was wide to the right.
Seitz was credited with four saves in the loss for Maryland (15-4-1) while Justin Papadakis did not have to make one for the Blue Devils (14-4-1).
"This is a great Duke team," Cirovski said. "They won the ACC Championship last year. There's no shame in losing today. I'm very disappointed to not bring more joy to our great Maryland fans that showed up today."
The Terps will learn their NCAA Tournament fate on Monday, November 6 when the field is announced live on ESPNews between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m.