Sept. 20, 2006
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The No. 6 men's soccer team earned its third shutout in a row by defeating Penn State, 2-0, on September 20 in front of 2,323 fans at Ludwig Field. The Terps extended their shutout streak to 286:02 while getting goals from sophomore Graham Zusi and freshman Jason Herrick.
For both goal scorers, it was their team-leading fifth goal of the season. Zusi also assisted on Herrick's score. Freshman Jeremy Hall assisted on both goals and sophomore keeper Chris Seitz earned his fifth shutout of the season after making two saves.
The Terps swept their home stand in impressive fashion with three shutouts after losing on the road at Clemson. Maryland outscored its opposition 7-0 while owning a 61-16 shot advantage in the three games. The Terps also took 21 corners and allowed just six.
The Terps have started 7-1-0 or better for just the third time since 1969. Maryland started that season 8-0-2. The Terps also started the 2002 and 2003 seasons off with a bang at 8-1-0 and 9-0-0, respectively.
Maryland took control of the match early, connecting on its first chance in the fourth minute. Zusi made a run down the right side of the field and from the middle of the pitch, Hall dished off to him in open space. With a clear lane to the goal, Zusi blasted a shot from 25 yards out that nailed the left side netting. The keeper could only watch the brilliant goal fly by.
"Anytime you can score in the first five or 10 minutes, it gives you a great lift. There's no question about it," head coach Sasho Cirovski said. "But, the quality of that goal was a little bit special."
The Nittany Lions' first chance came at the 36:37 point in the half when Simon Omekanda delivered a dangerous cross from right to left. The ball skipped across the box before Seitz came out and pounced on the ball, ending the attack.
The Terps put the game away with another goal in the 40th minute. Zusi and Hall found Herrick on the left side of the field. With a man on him, Herrick cut to the middle of the field and found open space. He then took aim at the right side of the goal and put a shot past Conrad Taylor for the 2-0 cushion.
Penn State had one more opportunity before the halftime whistle when Stephen Reihner fired a shot towards the goal, but it ended up being blocked by the Terp defense.
Ten minutes into the second half, the Terps had a great chance to add another goal but came up just short. Herrick dribbled around a couple of defenders in the box and found the PSU keeper indecisive on whether to come out or not. Herrick scrambled to find an open shot but eventually dished off to junior Stephen King. King fired a shot down the middle, but it was blocked before reaching the goal. The rebound ended up on Hall's foot who shot again, but Taylor came up with a big save to keep PSU in the match.
The Nittany Lions' (2-5-1) best chance came with 20 minutes to go when Omekanda sent a pass to Barkley Miller making a run down the middle of the field. Miller fired to the right side of the goal, but Seitz made a diving save to keep the shutout intact.
"In the second half our defending was exquisite," Cirovski said. "Chris Seitz came up big on a couple of occasions which he needed to do and we scored two great goals. When you do that, you win games."
The Terps, who are 6-0 at home this season, head to Winston-Salem, N.C. on Saturday, September 23 to take on No. 7 Wake Forest in another ACC road test. Kickoff for the match is slated for 7:00 p.m. at Method Road.