Zusi Scores With Six Seconds Left In Overtime To Give No. 19 Men's Soccer 2-1 Win At North Carolina
Nov. 9, 2007
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - With the game heading for a 1-1 tie, junior Graham Zusi scored with six seconds left in the second overtime to push the No. 19 Maryland men's soccer team to a 2-1 win against North Carolina on November 9 at Fetzer Field. Zusi used a give-and-go with freshman Rodney Wallace on the right side to set himself up for the goal.
"This was a great character win," head coach Sasho Cirovski said. "We started brightly and missed a couple of opportunities and they scored on their first. In the second half, we were a lot sharper on defense and took control of the game. At the end, it looked like we were going to settle for a tie, but we play every play and every second. It was a great ACC win."
Maryland got off to a fast start in the first 2:30 as it fired off three early shots. One of those was a great scoring opportunity as senior Stephen King and freshman Rodney Wallace set up senior Aki Kadotani in front of the box. Kadotani took the shot but keeper Tyler Deric came up with a big early save to keep the Terps off the board.
It was North Carolina who struck first though with 32:55 on the clock when Eddie Ababio handled the ball on the left side. He sent a cross into the box to Bill Dworsky at the far post who headed it closer to goal. Joan Carvajal cleaned up the play by finding the back of the net to put the Tar Heels up 1-0.
King once again set up a good scoring chance for the Terps as he sent a nice pass to his right to junior Graham Zusi at 22:10. Zusi had a man on him though and his shot sailed high and wide away from the goal.
The Heels had a chance to push their lead to a pair of goals with 2:10 left in the first half as Brian Shriver used his chest to place the ball at his feet and then fired off a shot from the left side of the box. His shot was wide of the far post and rolled harmlessly over the end line.
North Carolina got the first good chance of the second half as Michael Callahan was by himself in front of keeper Will Swaim battling for the ball. Both players fell to the ground in the scramble and the ball spilled out into the arms of Swaim to thwart the attack.
With Maryland on the attack and Zusi on the ball, he was taken down by Andre Sherard 20 yards out on the left side. King, who hit the beautiful free kick for a goal in the last match against NC State, and Zusi both stepped to the ball. It was Zusi taking the shot this time, whose shot got over the wall and past the keeper for the equalizing goal.
After a Maryland corner kick, UNC went on the counterattack and got a decent shot towards goal. A cross from the left side was sent to Jordan Graye on the right making a run. He was open for a shot but he mishit, sending a shot wide to the left with a little over 10 minutes remaining.
Neither team recorded another dangerous chance for the remaining time in regulation to force overtime at Fetzer Field for the second-straight year between the two teams.
The Terps earned a corner kick with just three minutes expired in overtime and it proved dangerous. Zusi took the corner and it bounced around in the middle of the box, but a Maryland player couldn't get to it and UNC cleared.
The rest of the first overtime session was played primarily in the midfield with neither team getting another good opportunity to score.
With under eight minutes to go in the game, Maryland committed a foul right outside of its box on the left side. Michael Callahan stepped to the ball and fired at the wall, which blocked his first attempt. The deflection came back at him and he shot again, but his blast sailed wide.
Cameron Lewis had a great chance to score the game-winner as he used a give-and-go with a teammate to get open. Lewis took the open shot on the right side of the box
The Tar Heels played most of the second overtime on the attack, but Maryland capitalized on their chance when Zusi and Wallace hooked up for the game-winning goal in the waning seconds.
Maryland (10-4-4, 4-3-1 ACC) will now prepare for the 2007 ACC Championships which will be held in Cary, N.C. from November 13-18. The bracket and matchups will be announced by the conference on Monday.