Sept. 19, 2008
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Maryland head coach Sasho Cirovski picked up career win No. 218 as the fourth-ranked Terps defeated No. 25 Duke, 1-0, in ACC men's soccer action on Friday night at Ludwig Field.
Maryland, following a lively pre-game ceremony with an energized crowd of over 6,000, played inspired soccer right out the gate. A corner kick by freshman Matt Kassel was placed perfectly in the box for a leaping Omar Gonzalez to head into the back of the net for the lone score of the game in the fifth minute of play. It is Gonzalez's second goal of the season and is the fourth consecutive game that the Terps have scored first. Kassel picked up his team-best fourth assist this season.
The Terps played some of their best soccer of the year through the first 30 minutes of play and picked up even more momentum when a red card was issued to reigning ACC Player of the Week and MAC Hermann Trophy candidate Mike Grella with 60 minutes left to play in regulation. Grella, a senior, was involved in an altercation with Maryland defender A.J. Delagarza away from the ball and was ejected, forcing the Blue Devils to play a man down for a third of the contest.
Maryland keeper Will Swaim played another tremendous match between the poles but got some serious help from his backline, which held the Blue Devils to only one shot on goal. Swaim is now 4-0 in 2008.
With the win, Cirovski passes long-time head coach Doyle Royal with 218 wins, the most in men's soccer program history. The milestone and game played out perfectly for Cirovski, who is in his 16th season at the helm of the Terps program.
"It was amazing and I don't think it could have been scripted any better," Cirovski said. "Our fans proved tonight why this is the best atmosphere in all of college soccer.
"I wish I could have walked around and thanked every one of them."
Cirovski said the milestone was a reflection of so many that have played a part in making the Maryland program what it is today.
"This is more of a program achievement than a personal one," Cirovski said. "I'd like to thank every single player that has donned the Maryland jersey and every one of my valued assistants."
For the game, Maryland out-shot Duke, 17-6. The Terps move to 5-1 and 2-0 in ACC play, while Duke falls to 4-3 and 1-1 in the conference.
"Defensively, we played great tonight," Cirovski said. "Duke is a tremendous team and I think they will go out and have a great season."
The attendance tallied in at 6,083, ranking it fifth all-time at Ludwig Field. Maryland will play American University at Ludwig Field on Tuesday night. Game time is slated for 7:30 p.m.