No. 6 Terps Men's Soccer Rallies to Defeat Lehigh, 2-1
Oct. 14, 2008
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Fans at Ludwig Field were experiencing déjà vu on Tuesday night, as Maryland midfielder Jeremy Hall served a ball to Casey Townsend for the game-winner in overtime for the second home game in a row, this time against Lehigh, 2-1, in men's soccer action.
Maryland once again came out firing, as Graham Zusi notched the first shot of the contest from a Doug Rodkey pass on the near sideline wide of the goal in the first minute and a half. In the game's fourth minute, Lehigh goalkeeper Jonathan Nydell made a nice save off a Hall header and a Townsend follow-up attempt went awry.
At 5:06, Maryland put together another solid scoring opportunity when Townsend heel-flicked a ball behind to Rodkey who took a shot on the ground that went across the box and hit off the far post. Near the 27-minute mark, Zusi served a good ball into the box for a leaping Omar Gonazalez, but his solid header went high of the goal.
Matt Kassel registered Maryland's last shot with seven minutes remaining in the first half when he sent a laser high. The Terps dominated the session offensively, outshooting the Mountain Hawks, 13-3 before the break.
Lehigh got on the board first in the second half as Terp goalkeeper Zac MacMath bobbled a ball in the box and Mountain Hawk forward Patrick Cucci picked it off and drove it into the back of the net. The score came unassisted at 52:46.
Maryland benefited from a red card issued to Lehigh's Daniel Odenwelder with 25 minutes remaining in the game to go up a man.
Wallace flipped a ball to Hall who barely missed the goal in the 68th minute. Drew Yates was then fouled in the box, setting up a Hall penalty kick. Hall sent a rocket at the Lehigh keeper who made a leaping save to preserve the 1-0 lead for the Mountain Hawks.
Gonzalez gave Maryland the equalizer when he sent a bullet from nearly 40 yards out that deflected and went in for the score at 84:45. It was Gonzalez's fourth goal of the year.
The Terps struck first in the overtime period when Kassel drove a ball just wide of the post in the session's opening. Hall then tapped the ball to Townsend, similar to last Tuesday against Charlotte, and Townsend took care of the rest to give Maryland its tenth win of 2008. For the freshman forward, it is his team-leading eighth goal of the season.
"We played some of our best soccer in the first half and had nothing to show for it," head coach Sasho Cirovski, who celebrated his birthday on Tuesday night, said. "We gifted them a goal and had to buckle down to the win the game, but we did...we showed a lot of resilience and character.
"You have to give Lehigh credit for their commitment and effort tonight."
Maryland has now won three straight and heads into Friday night's game against Evansville with a 10-3-0 record. The Terps are a perfect 3-0 in overtime play this season. Lehigh falls to 5-4-3.
Friday night's contest at Ludwig Field is set for 7:30 p.m.