Sept. 25, 2009
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - In front of a Ludwig Field record crowd, Maryland fifth-year senior captain Kevin Tangney provided the No. 4 Maryland men's soccer team with the late game-winner as the Terps blanked No. 2 North Carolina, 1-0, on Friday night.
Terrapin goalkeeper Zac MacMath booted a long ball to the other box which deflected off a Tar Heel defender in the 88th minute. Tangney, who went up for the 50-50 ball, found the deflection and headed the ball to the upper right corner with 1:55 remaining to cap what was already a magical night at Ludwig Field.
For Tangney, a player who has missed two full seasons due to a pair of ACL tears, it was a storybook ending to an evening that had so many great moments.
"That was one of the best moments of my 17 years here and not because we won the game against a great opponent but in the player that found the way to get the game-winning goal," head coach Sasho Cirovski said. "With all that he has been through, I rarely talk about a single player after a game, but you have a gulp in your throat when he scored that goal and had that celebration because you know what he's gone through. He's made of the best stuff on earth."
Tangney's goal also earned some reprise for the senior after he fouled a Tar Heel in the box, setting up a penalty shot opportunity for the Tar Heels at 54:18. Billy Schuler, who led North Carolina with three shots, missed on the strike, going wide left and leaving the game scoreless.
The game, which was televised live on Fox Soccer Channel, was a back-and-forth affair with two familiar foes exchanging blows and seeming to nearly shadow one another. North Carolina, who had not lost a game since last season's national game against Maryland on Dec. 14, 2008, out-shot the Terps 10-7, but the Terrapin defense was able to solidify its fourth shutout of the year. The Terps have not lost to North Carolina since 2003 and have now won five-straight at home against the Tar Heels.
Ludwig Field, which expanded in 2009 to seat 7,000, picked up a new record crowd as 6,946 watched the battle of the ACC heavyweights. The win was also the 600th in Maryland men's soccer program history.
"It was a special night," Cirovski said. "They deserve a lot of credit. I think our legs were a little heavy and we didn't go very deep off our bench today. It was a great win and one of the most memorable nights in Ludwig history."
Maryland, which moved to 5-1-1 following the win, returns to action Tuesday when it travels to George Mason, a foe the Terps faced in the second round of the NCAA tournament last season. Game time has been changed to 8 p.m.