COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The No. 4 Maryland men’s soccer team rebounded from a three-goal halftime deficit, but couldn’t find a late equalizer and fell, 4-3, to No. 15 Wake Forest at Ludwig Field Saturday night.
The Demon Deacons (7-3-4, 5-0-3 ACC) jumped on the Terps in the first half, scoring four goals on just six shots. Senior Patrick Mullins tallied two penalty kick goals, but despite a lofty effort down the stretch, Maryland dropped its first ACC decision in 2013 and snapped a nine-game unbeaten streak.
An own goal provided Wake Forest with its opening tally in the 22nd minute. Junior Jereme Raley attempted to clear a Hunter Bandy crossed, but poked the ball into the back of his own net.
Wake grabbed a two-goal lead through a great individual effort from Luca Gimenez in the 29th minute. The senior capitalized on a Terp mistake and charged down the left flank before slotting the ball past freshman goalkeeper Zack Steffen.
The Terps (6-3-5, 4-1-3 ACC) pulled one back in the 36th minute when Mullins was fouled in the box. The senior converted the ensuing spot kick for his 11th goal of the season.
Gimenez allowed Maryland’s one-goal deficit to last just three minutes. Sean Okoli crossed the ball to Gimenez, who was able to head the ball past Steffen to push the lead to 3-1.
Okoli made it four in the 41st minute, with Gimenez as the provider. The junior calmly finished inside the box after Gimenez’s cross was deflected.
The Terrapins pushed from the opening whistle of the second half and had numerous chances to score. Sophomore Schillo Tshuma sparked the charge, drawing a penalty kick in in the 56th minute. Mullins blasted the ball home from the spot to make the score 4-2.
Freshman Michael Sauers drew the Terps within one in the 60th minute, latching onto a Sunny Jane layoff and rocketing the ball past Deacon keeper Andrew Harris from 20 yards out.
The remaining 30 minutes saw the Terps press hard for an equalizer. Mullins blasted a shot off the post, before Tshuma had a diving header from close range go wide.
Senior Sunny Jane had the Terps’ best chance late on, but Harris stopped the senior in a 1-on-1 situation.
With his two-goal showing, Mullins entered the prestigious 40-goal club and now ranks fifth on Maryland’s all-time goals list, passing Rocco Morelli.
“We have to solve how to become a better team defensively, both individually and collectively,” head coach Sasho Cirovski. “I know we made it entertaining for the fans today and it was an exciting soccer game but very disappointing as far as our responsibilities defensively. To Wake’s credit they were lethal in their finishing.”
Maryland also honored former alums Alex Medina (1964), Lez Bernard (1968), Bill Walker (1971), Steve Salfeety (1971), Gary Hand (1972), Bob Kim (1975), Kenan McCoy (1981), Ed Gauss (1982), Doug Howland (1982), Steve Powers (1987), Bob Dass (1987), Rich Labonski (1989) and Abe Thompson (2004) for its annual alumni night.
Maryland retakes the field Tuesday against Drexel. Kickoff at Ludwig Field is scheduled for 7 p.m.