Oct. 9, 2012
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The No. 1 Maryland men's soccer team rallied after giving up an early goal to stay unbeaten in a 2-1 victory over Rutgers Tuesday night.
The Terrapins (10-0-1) were able to survive multiple Rutgers scoring opportunities in the second half to hold on for the victory, their ninth straight. Christiano Francois and Patrick Mullins scored for Maryland. John Stertzer added two assists.
Rutgers got off to the perfect start when Tommy O'Rourke took advantage of a breakdown in the Maryland defense to put the Scarlett Knights ahead inside two minutes. O'Rourke was able to gain control of a rebound off Maryland keeper Keith Cardona and slot the ball home from pointblank range.
Maryland struck back with a quick equalizer when Francois finished past Rutgers goalkeeper Kevin McMullen in the seventh minute. The freshman was able to corral a well-placed through ball from Stertzer and roll the ball home from inside 15 yards.
The Terrapins took the lead for good in the 32nd minute on Mullins' seventh goal of the season. The junior capitalized on an assist from Stertzer to put the ball in from 15 yards. The chance was created by Stertzer's beautiful volley attempt that slammed off the Rutgers' crossbar and rebounded back to the senior.
The second half was action packed with both teams creating very dangerous goal scoring chances. Francois' close range effort was saved by McMullen early in the half, before a Scarlet Knight goal was prevented by Cardona's crossbar and a crafty defensive effort by the Terrapin backline.
Maryland continued to pour on the attack throughout the second half. An ambitious bicycle kick from Sunny Jane was saved by McMullen before Mullins' chip flew just over the goalkeeper.
Both chances were set up by the ever active Francois, who also put all three of his own shots on goal.
Maryland outshot the Scarlet Knights 18-12, forcing McMullen to make nine saves.
"I thought it was an entertaining game to watch and a frustrating game to coach," head coach Sasho Cirovski said. "Full credit to Rutgers. I thought they came to play and just like last year they pushed us again. I thought we responded well. I think we need to give Rutgers credit but I also think we have to accept some responsibility that we can't allow that to happen again."
Tuesday's match was also the annual Under Armour Power in Pink match.
The Terrapins next game is a road contest against Duke this Friday night. Coverage of the game can be seen live at 7 p.m. on RSN affiliates and ESPN3.com.