I know a few of my readers were following my overly enthusiastic game thread posting of the Terps 2-1 win over Duke in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament but I’m going to post a recap regardless. My impressions are based on sneak peeks of the ACC’s webcast while I was allegedly working and making posts. Now I’m writing this as I’m watching the men’s soccer match at Wake.
The Terps started the match aggressively controlling the ball and the tempo. Sophomore Maxine Fluharty got off an early shot that was saved by Duke’s goalie but netted Maryland its first penalty corner. Ali McEvoy’s shot was saved easily. Maryland continued to press forward and control the game from the midfield getting an opportunity for Jill Witmer who punched her shot wide. About a minute later, Honda award winner Megan Frazer, dribbled across from the right, gave a little shoulder fake and whipped a quick shot into the upper left hand corner just after nudging the ball into the circle and the Terps had a 1-0 lead.
Maryland continued to pressure and seemed to be in control through the subsequent 20 minutes generating 2 more corners but failing to capitalize on either. With about 8 minutes left in the half, the team from Durham seemed to pick up some energy when they secured their first penalty corner. Although Maryland’s defense easily blocked Duke’s effort, the lower seeded Blue Devils continued to press in the offensive end getting off 5 shots in the final 2:15 of the half one at point blank range on which Brooke Cabrera made a sensational save on of three saves for the half.
The Terps came out with some intensity in the second half attacking with three shots in the first five minutes including an excellent chance for Jill Witmer that she pushed wide. A defensive lapse and a decision by Cabrera to come out of the net and challenge ledt to an easy tying goal in the 43rd minute. Maryland went quickly back on the attack and freshman Anna Dessoye and sophomore Steffi Schneid were each able to launch shots but the Duke keeper was up to the task. Finally in the 54th minute Harriet Tibble came in from the right side and would have drawn a corner when her progress was impeded but the offense had the advantage and the referee held her whistle. Tibble got a clean pass to Witmer who smacked what would prove to be a game winning backhand into the back of the net. The Terrapin defense held Duke without a shot for the remainder of game and Maryland advances to face Virginia in the semi-finals Friday at 3:30. The Terps dropped their regular season match up 2-3 in Charlottesville.
Down in Winston-Salem the top ranked Maryland men’s soccer team faced of Thursday night against the 18th ranked Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Wake Forest got on the board early attacking with a cross from the right flank. Keith Cardona got a hand on the shot but was unable to fully deflect it and the ball bounced off the post and into the goal. Wake kept the pressure on getting a one on one shot from about 5 yards but Cardona made the save. This sequence seemed to pump some life into the Terps who had been rather moribund to that point and Maryland got the equalizer on a bicycle kick from John Stertzer. In the 41st minute Jordan Cyrus played a long ball from just outside the Maryland box. Christiano Francois was able to split the defense and draw the Wake goalie out. He made a nice first touch and directed the ball into the net giving the Terps a 2-1 lead they would carry into halftime.
This late goal would be the last hurrah for the team in white as wake would dominate the second half peppering the Maryland goal with shots defender London Woodberry who would later draw a red card for elbowing a Wake player rescuing his goalkeeper with back to back saves. Wake would tie the score in the 59th minute again attacking from the flank putting home a shot off a cross from just inside the box. Six minutes later Woodberry would receive his red card and it took the black clad home team just over three minutes to exploit their man advantage on a long cross from the right that was knocked back into the right corner. In the 77th minute Maryland would be charged with a take down in the box and Wake would convert the penalty kick to stretch the lead to 4-2 and ultimately hand the Terps their first loss of the season by that score. In addition, this marked the first time Maryland had been out shot in a game with Wake holding a 13-11 edge. On Monday, the Terps, who will be without the services of London Woodberry, will be at home to take on the winner of the play in game between NC State and Virginia Tech in the first round of the ACC Tournament. Game time is to be announced.