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Men's soccer shuts out Syracuse while volleyball drops another match in Carolina

The Maryland men's soccer team seems to be finding their stride defensively as the Terps pick up a second consecutive shutout and third in the last four games while volleyball drops to twelfth in the ACC falling to NC State in four sets.

Apologies to my readers but I was a bit under the weather on Saturday so the best I can do is recap lite. Two teams on my beat were in action Saturday: Volleyball took on NC State in Raleigh falling 3-1 while men's soccer traveled to Syracuse where they came away with a 1-0 win.

The first set opened competitively with neither team able to mount any advantage through the first dozen points. With the score tied at six, the Wolfpack went on two four point runs over the next 15 point to open up a comfortable 17-10 lead. Maryland fought back to close within three at 20-17 but State reasserted themselves closing out the set by a 25-19 final score.

The second set remained close longer than the first but with the score tied at nine NC State again asserted themselves going on a 9-3 run that opened up an 18-12 advantage. The Terps came no closer than four at 20-16 before yielding five of the last six points to fall 25-17.

Maryland came out of the break with some energy and after falling behind 2-1 they took a lead at three two. Although State managed to pull even several times - the last coming at eighteen all - the Terps never trailed again. An emphatic kill by Ashleigh Crutcher gave Maryland a 19-18 lead. The Terps held on to a little working margin before scoring the set's final two points to close it out 25-21.

The fourth and final set belonged to NC State from the outset. The Pack broke an early 2-2 tie with three straight points to capture a lead they would not surrender. The home team began to gradually pull away opening up a five point lead for the second time at 23-18. The Terps showed plenty of fight and rallied to close within two at 23-21 and staved off a match point at 24-21 but the climb proved too steep and the Wolfpack closed out the set and the match with a 25-22 win.

I was able to watch a bit of this match on NC State's internet feed. It seemed to me that too often today the Terps were over-committing to the block and although Maryland had an impressive 18 blocks for the match they too often left open space for NC State's hitters that either resulted in points or in forcing the defenders to scramble for digs that Maryland's hitters couldn't capitalize on. I don't often single out a player for her performance but tonight I have to make an exception for the play of Sarah Harper not only for her team high 23 digs but for so many of them being of a spectacular nature that rescued out of position teammates. Ashleigh Crutcher led the Terps with 12 kills and Ashlyn MacGregor had 11 block assists. Maryland faces Pitt at home Wednesday night.

As for soccer, I can tell you that the Terps and the Orange played to a scoreless first half tie. Maryland had four shots in the first half two coming from Jake Pace who also had the Terrapins only shot on goal. Syracuse got off five shots but none tested freshman goalkeeper Zack Steffen. It's not ten past nine and, other than two little pieces of information, all internet reporting on the game has ceased and has been frozen since halftime. Both came courtesy of Twitter and the first you know. That is that the Terps pulled out a 1-0 win giving Steffen his fourth shutout of the season and second in ACC play. The second is that Maryland's goal came off an "unreal strike from 20 yards" by Dan Metzger. Judging from the time between Tweets of the goal and full time, I'd guess that Metzger's goal came in the fifty-fourth minute or at least some time around then.

The Terps final home game against an ACC opponent with the ACC logo on the field comes Friday night November 1 when Maryland hosts North Carolina State. They will then close out the regular season at Virginia Tech.

The question for my readers is: Do I move my usual Tuesday night PC from Kiki-Riki (since the Terps a 3-0) to Friday?