Sept. 29, 2006
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - For the second-straight match, junior Maurice Edu notched the only goal of the game with a header in the box as the No. 3 men's soccer team defeated No. 14 Duke, 1-0, on September 29 at Ludwig Field. A record crowd of 6,489 fans came out and provided an electric atmosphere for a match televised by Fox Soccer Channel.
The record-breaking crowd topped the old Ludwig record of 6,203 fans who came out to watch Maryland battle Indiana on October 29 of last season.
It was the seventh shutout of the season for Maryland which improves to 10-1-0 and 3-1-0 in the ACC. During its current six-game win streak, the Terps have notched five shutouts and allowed just one goal.
"You can see this team has played in some big games," head coach Sasho Cirovski said. "We have a bunch of tough competitors and that came through today. I'm really proud of them."
Prior to the match, fireworks during the national anthem and before player introductions got the crowd going but it was Duke who controlled the first 10 minutes of the match with a lot of possession, trying to quiet the fans. The Terps broke through though just a little over four minutes in when junior Spencer Allen sent a beautiful through ball to classmate Stephen King, but his shot attempt was blocked by the last Duke defender.
The Blue Devils went on the counter-attack after the block and Joe Germanese fired a quality shot at sophomore keeper Chris Seitz, but the Maryland back line returned the favor and blocked the shot. After Duke controlled the ball for the next six minutes, the Terps took control of the game and never let go.
In the 14th minute, freshman Jeremy Hall used some nifty footwork in the box to try and slip around a couple of Duke defenders. It almost worked, but the Blue Devils were able to punch the ball away to take their chance with a corner.
In almost the same fashion as the game-winner against Loyola on Tuesday night, Zusi stepped to the ball and delivered a beautiful pass into the box. Edu, who was about 10 yards out in the middle of the box, got a head on the ball that got past Justin Papadakis to give the Terps the 1-0 lead.
After the goal, the momentum shifted towards the Terps who controlled the ball and spent most of the time in the offensive half of the field.
The Blue Devils put a scare into the Terps, however, when a free kick was sent into the box with eight minutes to go. Two Duke players converged on the ball along with Seitz who was trying to thwart the attack. Seitz grabbed a hold of the pass, but lost it when he bumped into a Blue Devil. The ball bounced right to a Terp defender, however, who headed it into the safety of Seitz's hands.
The Terps almost added to the lead with 1:40 left in the half when Zusi found senior A.J. Godbolt just outside the box on the right side. Godbolt found an open Hall in front of the keeper and sent him the ball. Hall made a spin move around a defender and fired a close range shot that was saved by Papadakis.
The second half mostly belonged to the Terps, who held onto the lead and almost added to it a couple of times. Just a minute and a half in, sophomore A.J. Delagarza sent a long pass to Hall on the left side who fired a shot that was saved again. The rebound landed on Zusi's foot, but his shot was blocked.
Four minutes later, Godbolt made a long run down the right side of the field and sent a cross to Hall on the left. Hall then dished off to sophomore Rich Costanzo on the right side again, and Costanzo fired a shot on the volley that barely missed over the cross bar.
Perhaps the Blue Devils' best chance of the night came with nine minutes to go in the game when Zach Pope delivered a dangerous pass off of a corner. Mike Grella tried to sneak a shot over Seitz but the ball landed harmlessly on the top of the net.
The last 30 seconds of the match were intense with the ball in Duke's possession in the offensive third. After Maryland committed a foul on the right side, a pass was sent into the box and knocked down. Players from both teams scrambled after the loose ball. Duke tried to fire a couple of shots, but all of their attempts were blocked before going anywhere. Eventually, the Terps were able to clear the danger to hang on to the win.
"Duke came to play and I think that made for a very entertaining game," Cirovski said. "There was only one goal in the game but there were a lot of good things out there. It was a great college game."
Seitz was credited with three saves in the win and Papadakis stopped four shots for the Blue Devils, who fall to 7-2-1 and 2-1-1 in the conference.
For the first and only time this season, the Terps will play a pair of games on the road before retuning to Ludwig Field. Maryland has a week off before taking on No. 8 North Carolina in Chapel Hill on Friday, October 6, in another match televised by Fox Soccer Channel. Kickoff is slated for 8:00 p.m.