No. 1 Terps Blanked By No. 5 UNC, 1-0
Oct. 5, 2003
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - North Carolina's Corey Ashe score at 68:50 broke a scoreless tie and wound up being the game-winner as the fifth-ranked Tar Heels defeated Maryland, 1-0, Sunday afternoon at Fetzer Field.
The loss halts Maryland's best start in 35 years and ends the Terps' nine-game winning streak.
"Carolina's a great team, and they capitalized on their opportunities," head coach Sasho Cirovski said. "We played solid, but this wasn't the kind of showing from a Maryland team that we are accustomed to seeing in terms of connectivity."
Maryland was unable to find a rhythm in the first half as the Terps had just a few solid offensive opportunities. Due to the trouble Maryland had up front possessing the ball, the speedy North Carolina forwards were able to create space for themselves and fired five shots on goal. Maryland's best offensive opportunity in the first half came in the 15th minute as Abe Thompson forced UNC keeper Justin Hughes to make a save and Domenic Mediate's shot off the rebound was deflected and sailed high over the net, leading to a corner kick. A.J. Herrera served the ball into Sumed Ibrahim off the corner, but Sumed's shot missed the net wide left.
Despite the sluggish first half, Maryland keeper Noah Palmer made several diving saves to prevent the Tar Heels from scoring and to keep the score 0-0 going into the half.
"We weren't winning second balls, and when we played some balls some guys didn't know when to step up and when not to," senior Scott Buete said of the team's first half. "We knew we had to pick it up a notch in the second half and play better."
The Terps did re-group in the second half and came out much stronger, possessing the ball and controlling the action. However, the Tar Heels were able to strike on one of their opportunities with the ball as Jamie Watson bounced the ball ahead to Marcus Storey from midfield into Maryland territory. Ashe, who was running beside Storey as he dribbled the ball toward the Maryland goal, took over possession and got the shot past Palmer from 10 yards out.
Maryland intensified the pressure and would have a few more chances to tie the score. Abe Thompson's free kick with 13 minutes left skipped off the cross bar, and Clarence Goodson had a good look at the net in the 78th minute, but his shot sailed wide. The Terps also had two corner kicks within the last three minutes but were unable to convert on any set plays.
"I am genuinely surprised at our ineffectiveness today, both offensively and defensively" Cirovski said. "But these are great kids that have a lot of pride, and I'm sure we'll bounce back."
"We just have to file it and move on," Buete said. "We just have to get back to business."
Maryland (9-1, 3-1) will be back in action on Wednesday, Oct. 8, at Ludwig Field at 7 p.m., as it battles regional-rival Georgetown.
1 2 F #1 Maryland (9-1, 3-1) 0 0 0 #5 North Carolina (8-1-2, 3-1) 0 1 1 Scoring: NC-Ashe (Storey, Watson) 68:50 Shots: MD-9+8=17; NC-6+5=11 Corners: MD-5+2=7; NC-4+2=6 Saves: MD-5+3=8; NC-2+0=2 Fouls: MD-7+3=10; NC-7+9=16 Goalkeeping: MD-Palmer (1GA, 8SV, 90:00); NC-Hughes (0GA, 2SV, 90:00)