Oct. 2, 2009
DURHAM, N.C. - The No. 2 Maryland men's soccer team dropped a hard-fought contest on the road Friday night, 2-0, at No. 14 Duke in Atlantic Coast Conference action.
A scoreless first half was the result of very tight play with Maryland (5-3-1, 2-1-1) controlling the possession for the first portion of the stanza, tallying five shots in the first 26 minutes, and Duke narrowly missing on four shots in the final 17 minutes of the period.
Jason Herrick had a long-range strike saved by Blue Devil keeper James Belshaw in the 14th minute. Duke (7-2-0, 2-2-0) answered with a dangerous cross to a charging Ryan Finley on the near side, but the ball went just out of his reach.
In the 26th minute, Kaoru Forbess battled past two separate defenders and launched a shot that went wide to the left of Belshaw. Finley continued to provide Duke with its offense up front when his left-footed shot pushed wide of the post in the 29th minute. Thirty seconds later, Zac MacMath kept the game at nil when he made an incredible reactionary save off his shoulder after a close-range strike from Finley.
The Terps regained command later in the period and Drew Yates nearly put the Terps on the board but his shot, which came inches outside the top of the box, deflected out of bounds for a Maryland corner at 33:02. Duke had a breakaway opportunity in the 40th minute but another steady Terrapin defensive stand and a MacMath save sent the game to halftime scoreless.
Duke, however, would not waste its next breakaway chance. Following a failed clearance in the Maryland backline, Finley brought MacMath out of the box for a one-on-one up top. His strike deflected off a sliding MacMath and lofted into the upper left corner of the empty net for a 1-0 Blue Devil lead.
In the 62nd minute, Matt Oduaran was fouled while charging down the left side, setting up a solid scoring chance for Maryland. A free kick by Kassel provided Forbess with a good look just outside the box, but his strike was deflected out. After a yellow card was issued to Duke's Ryan McDaniel, Matt Kassel was granted a free kick approximately 30 yards out. His blast at 71:47 was blocked by the Blue Devil wall.
The Maryland defense had its back against the wall in-and-around the 75th minute when Duke fired off four shots. Blue Devil Christian Ibeagha had a solid header that was punched out by a leaping MacMath at 74:22. Temi Molinar followed up with a strike that made its way past MacMath but Terrapin defender Kwame Darko made the sliding goal line save. A scuffle in the box gave Ibeagha another shot at 76:04, which was blocked by the Maryland backline, before Trae Harrison's follow-up strike sailed high.
Maryland, which out-shot Duke 8-6 in the second half, continued to apply pressure in its attack in the period but were unable to find the back of the net. Duke picked up its insurance goal in the 79th minute when Harrison headed a ball off the crossbar that trickled in from three yards out.
"This was a much better performance than Tuesday (versus George Mason)," head coach Sasho Cirovski said. "It was unfortunate that our attack wasn't able to help us reward ourselves. Tonight was a good performance with a bad result."
MacMath tallied five saves to lead Maryland, which out-shot the Blue Devils, 16-11, in the match. Following the loss, Maryland continues to command the all-time series, 41-22-3. It is the first time the Terps have been held scoreless by Duke since Nov. 3, 2006. The last time Maryland suffered back-to-back losses was in 2007, when the Terps fell at Duke and then at Wake Forest.
The Terps return home for a two-game homestand beginning Tuesday with a match against Loyola (Chicago) at Ludwig Field. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.