Sept. 26, 2008
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The No. 2 Terps men's soccer team jumped out to a 2-1 lead against No. 1 Wake Forest, but the Demon Deacons rallied for a pair of goals in the second half to down the Terps, 4-2, on Friday night at a soggy Ludwig Field in front of a capacity crowd of 6,500.
Maryland, like it had the four games prior, got on the board in a hurry. Jason Herrick found a cross from Rodney Wallace in the game's opening minute for an early 1-0 Terrapin lead. The goal was the quickest for Maryland this season and Herrick's first of 2008.
Wake Forest retaliated a little over five minutes later when Marcus Tracy netted his seventh goal of the year past Will Swaim. For Swaim, it is the first goal he has given up since the Terps' opener against UCLA on August 29. Sam Cronin notched the assist on the score for Wake.
The Terps saw immediate impact from their freshman once again as Casey Townsend gave Maryland a one-goal cushion at 28:52 when he launched a strike off Wake's Akira Fitzgerald save into the back of the net. It was Townsend's team-leading fifth goal of the year and his third in the past two outings.
Ike Opara continued the scoring spree in the first half with a goal within the closing five minutes of the half. The header came from close-range off a Danny Wenzel-assist and tied the game at 2-2 heading into halftime.
"I was very pleased with our first half," Maryland head coach Sasho Cirovski said. "I felt we played with the energy and execution necessary to be effective against Wake."
As early as Maryland struck in the first half, Wake hit back in the second half, registering the eventual game-winner slightly over a minute into play when Zack Schilawski scored off assists from Michael Lahoud and Austin da Luz. Wake Forest sealed the game and its No. 1-ranking when da Luz found the back of the net in the 58th minute after breaking loose inside the box and firing a shot from mid-range. Maryland falls to 6-2-0 and 2-1 in ACC play while Wake Forest improves to 8-0-0 and 2-0 in conference action.
"Wake is a great team," Cirovski said. "Tonight was a great event for college soccer...I saw a lot of bright spots tonight and I can see that we will grow tremendously from this game."
Despite the abysmal weather, which combined rain, wind and threats of lightning, the crowd of 6,500 set a new attendance record at Ludwig Field.
"Our fans are just outstanding," Cirovski said. "I want to thank them for their awesome commitment in spite of the weather."
Maryland maintained an 18-11 shooting advantage on the night. The Terps have out-shot their opponent in every match this season.
The Terps will conclude their homestand with a contest against Binghamton on Tuesday. Game time is slated for 7:30 p.m. at Ludwig Field.
Maryland is now 4-2-1 against Wake Forest at Ludwig Field.