Maryland men’s soccer refuses to die. In the third round of the NCAA Tournament, the No. 11-seed Terrapins pulled off the 2-0 upset over No. 6-seed Duke in Durham to advance.
William James Herve has experience as a hero in his debut season for the Terps. And in the biggest game of the season, the freshman’s heroics were on full display. On a cross from Paul Bin, Herve executed a perfect scissor kick in the box to score what would eventually be the game-winning goal. And in the second half, Amar Sejdic scored a crucial insurance goal to put the match out of reach.
While the attack provided the necessary goal-scoring to win, Dayne St. Clair continued his season of great play to keep Duke off the board. He made a season-high eight saves, shutting down the Blue Devils’ advances time and time again to preserve his 10th shutout of the season.
Duke started the match on the front foot, as the Blue Devils were flying around the pitch on both ends in the early going. In the fifth minute, Daniel Wright fired a shot at Dayne St. Clair to register a shot on goal. The redshirt junior botched the easy save, but he stayed in front to keep the ball out of harm’s way.
Despite the strong run of play from Duke, Maryland owned the 24th minute. After making waves for his scoring ability this season, Bin’s pass will likely be remembered most fondly. The junior ripped a cross into the box, where the Terrapins attackers were severely outnumbered, 7-3. But Herve was in the perfect position to make a play, and he capitalized on the opportunity. The freshman leaped with his right leg in the air, and his scissor kick strike beat Will Pulisic and found the back of the net. For the second game in a row, the Terps took an early lead.
Herve’s goal energized the Terps, who played much better following his goal. He nearly scored again just four minutes later, but Pulisic made his only save of the day to knock the ball out of play.
In the 33rd minute, Sejdic had a chance to score his second goal of the tournament. After gaining possession in the box, he fired a shot on net and past the Blue Devils goalkeeper. But Brandon Williamson was in the right spot at the perfect time, and his slide tackle saved Duke from staring down a two-goal deficit. He nearly tied the game himself one minute later, but St. Clair made yet another save.
The Blue Devils looked rejuvenated coming out of the break, as they played with a tenacity to kick off the second half. They had little to show for it, registering a single shot that was ultimately wide. And in the 60th minute, they made a crucial mistake in their defensive zone that effectively ended the game.
Against NC State on Sunday, Sejdic was gifted a scoring opportunity by the Wolfpack goalkeeper, who failed to clear the ball in the 11th minute and giving the senior a chance in the box. It was a déjà vu moment on Saturday, as he intercepted a pass from Jack Doran and had just Pulisic to beat. The senior did what needed to be done for the second match in a row, effectively ending Duke’s chances of tying the score by providing a critical insurance goal.
Maryland’s back line stepped up to the occasion as it has done all season long. Thanks to stifling defense and great play from St. Clair, the Blue Devils’ chances were denied time and time again. After a long season of heartbreak, the Terps are on to the Elite Eight.
Three things to know
1. The Terrapins are moving on. With this win, Maryland has advanced to the fourth round of the NCAA Tournament—the Elite Eight. There, it will face the No. 3-seed Kentucky Wildcats, who defeated Lipscomb as the Terps pulled away from Duke. Maryland will stay on the road, heading to Lexington next weekend for a chance to make the College Cup.
2. Maryland’s attack had another great showing. That’s four goals in two games so far for the Terps in the NCAA Tournament. Sejdic and Sebastian Elney combined to beat NC State, and on Duke’s home field, Herve and Sejdic sent Maryland to the Elite Eight. It took 473 minutes for these Terrapins to score their first goal of the season, but now they’re the key to success.
3. Dayne St. Clair was terrific. The redshirt junior was essentially untested last week, facing just one shot on goal against the Wolfpack. The Blue Devils were able to pepper the goal time and time again on Saturday, but St. Clair held strong. He made a season-high eight saves, and in doing so he posted his 10th shutout of the season.