#3 Terps Grind Out Win vs. #12 Charlotte
Sept. 27, 2011
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Three first half strikes in a span of 12 minutes propelled the No. 3 Maryland men's soccer team past No. 12 Charlotte, 3-1, on a misty night at Ludwig Field.
After a bit of jostling from both sides, Maryland struck first in the 23rd minute. Townsend found himself on the end of a blocked shot in front of net and slotted the ball past Charlotte goalkeeper Klay Davis for his 10th goal of the season.
The Terps then relied on Charlotte's misfortunes in the 31st minute to double the score line. Patrick Mullins' shot was partially saved and in an attempt to clear, a 49er defender mistakenly blasted the ball into his own net.
Maryland continued to mount pressure on the Charlotte backline and added a third goal four minutes later when Stertzer collected a Jereme Raley free kick and finished past Davis.
Undaunted, the 49ers quickly responded less than a minute later with a counter-attack goal from Donnie Smith to cut the Terrapin lead to 3-1.
The second half came with just as many fireworks, but no goals came about despite multiple opportunities from both teams.
Charlotte feverishly pushed for a goal in the game's final 10 minutes, but Maryland goalkeeper Will Swaim and the Terrapin backline successfully held the 49ers at bay to secure the victory.
"I'm really pleased with the result," head coach Sasho Cirovski said. "I thought we weathered a little bit of their high pressure early and did what we had to do against a team like that - put the ball in the back of the net and have them force the game.
"In the second half we changed a few things and I thought we were in control the whole second half. We were unlucky to not get a couple more goals. Charlotte is a very good team. They are very tough to play against. We had good contributions from everyone. It was one of those Tuesday games that we knew was going to be a grind and we found a way to win it."
The victory sets up a marquee matchup on Friday night at Ludwig Field, as undefeated No. 2 Creighton comes to College Park to take on the Terps. Creighton, who has yet to concede a goal this season, will be heavily tested against the vaunted Terrapin attack.