Sept. 7, 2007
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Dan Stratford scored 35 seconds into the first overtime to lead No. 20 West Virginia to a 1-0 win against No. 6 Maryland on September 7 in front of 5,022 fans at Ludwig Field. Stratford nailed home a cross from Mike Anoia seconds after the opening kick in the extra session. The attendance figure is the fifth-highest in Ludwig Field history.
The 5,022 spectators that showed up for Maryland's 2007 home debut outdrew the 4,565 that came out against NC State back on September 16 of last year.
"I am especially grateful and very appreciative of the tremendous fan support we received tonight," head coach Sasho Cirovski said. "The student body and the community came out in record numbers and I am disappointed we couldn't perform at a higher level and provide a result."
After a back-and-forth 90 minutes that saw both teams squander opportunities, the Mountaineers wasted no time in the first overtime to steal a win on the road. After the kickoff, Anoia dribbled down the left side of the field and sent a cross into the box where Stratford was waiting for the game-winner.
"We never settled into our offense and we never got any rhythm in the game today," Cirovski said. "We didn't start the game very well and never got into a flow. West Virginia deserves a lot of credit for their commitment and the way they played. Last week we showed our positives and youthful enthusiasm and today we showed some inexperience. We lost to a very mature, highly committed team who wanted to make a statement, and they did. I've said all along that we will have some growing pains in September and now we will have to put the pieces back together."
The first half saw a lot of midfield play with both teams only attempting three shots. West Virginia got its first quality chance at the 28 minute mark when Stratford sent in a dangerous cross through the box off of a corner. Freshman keeper Will Swaim thwarted the attack with a diving punch that stopped any danger.
Seven minutes later, the Terrapins responded with the first shot on goal as freshman Rodney Wallace found senior Stephen King on the left side. King found freshman Yannick Salmon on the right with space to shoot. Salmon blasted a low liner towards goal, but Zach Johnson scooped it up for the save.
The Terps got the best chance to strike in the first half with 17:36 left after a West Virginia foul at the top of the box on the left side. Junior Graham Zusi took the free kick and sent in a cross to the far post that reached Wallace, but his header sailed just over the crossbar.
In the second half, the Terps were close to scoring again eight minutes in when Zusi sent in another cross from the left side. The pass made its way to an open Jeremy Hall in the box who tried to connect with the ball, but he just misfired.
Ten minutes later, the Mountaineers' attack broke through and barely missed getting on the board. Andy Wright fired off a hard shot on Swaim who made the save. The rebound deflected to the left to an open Tony Lindroos who saw an open net to shoot on. Lindroos fired, but junior A.J. Delagarza dove and made the save to keep West Virginia off the board.
After that play, Hall broke free in transition seconds later and was able to fire off a shot as he went one-on-one with the keeper but his shot went high over the goal.
With 1:36 to go in regulation, Stratford had a chance to score as he was driving down the middle of the field with nobody in front of him. Swaim came out to cut down the angle and Stratford tried to chip a shot over the freshman, but the shot was saved. The game was sent into overtime when Stratford finally connected.
The Terps (1-1-1) will conclude their weekend when they host George Mason on Sunday, September 9 at 7:00 p.m. at Ludwig Field.