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Top Strikers Get Together On Pitch As No. 3 Terps Clash With No. 24 Duke

As the Maryland men’s soccer team headed into the locker room for halftime in their match against Division II Adelphi Tuesday, the Terrapins found themselves in unfamiliar territory.

The Diamondback

Not only were they tied on the scoreboard at zero, but the Terps were outshot in a half, 4-3 by the Panthers, for just the second time all season. However, a more focused Maryland group emerged in the second half. The Terrapins outshot Adelphi 11-0 and used two goals from reserve forward Jake Pace in the 73rd and 74th minutes, respectively, to defeat the Panthers 2-0 in their final non-conference regular season game of the season. The goals were the first of Pace’s career. In helping to pitch Maryland’s seventh shutout of the season, freshman goalkeeper Keith Cardona earned his first career victory.

After a 2-1 loss in Charlottesville last week, Maryland (12-1-1, 3-1-0 ACC) resumes ACC play tonight against the Duke Blue Devils (7-4-1, 3-1-1). Duke has not been defeated in seven straight games, the Blue Devils’ best run since 2006. During that stretch, the Blue Devils are 6-0-1 and have outscored opponents 24-9, the most goals Duke has scored in a seven-game stretch since 2004. The Blue Devils are tied with North Carolina on top of the ACC standings to move into the College Soccer News poll for the first time since August. Duke is ranked No. 24 in the nation.

Tonight’s battle will feature two of the top strikers in the country. Duke’s Andrew Wenger leads the nation in both goals (15) and points (37). During the Blue Devils’ seven-game win streak, Wenger has scored 12 goals to go along with seven assists for 31 points. After a four-goal, one-assist performance in a pair of victories last week, he is was selected as the Disney Soccer/NSCAA, ACC and College Soccer News Men’s National Player of the Week. Wenger was also voted to the Soccer America Team of the Week for the second time this season.

The Diamondback

On the other side though, Maryland’s Casey Townsend is not far behind. Townsend has scored 12 goals for a total of 24 points this season, both of which rank second in the conference behind Wenger. However, while Wenger has accounted for 22 of Duke’s 29 goals, the Terps scoring attack is much more balanced. Townsend has accounted for 12 of Maryland’s 34 goals. John Stertzer is second on the Terrapins with nine goals and 21 points while Patrick Mullins has five goals for 12 points this year.

Here are some more notes for tonight’s game:

  • This is the 70th matchup between Maryland and Duke. The Terrapins have a 44-22-3 lead in the all-time series, which dates back to 1949. However, both teams have five wins in the last 10 meetings with each other.
  • Duke is 1-2-0 against Maryland under head coach John Kerr. The Blue Devils defeated the Terps in 2009 and have not lost consecutive regular season games to Maryland since 2006.
  • With a 3-1-1 record in the ACC, Duke is off to its best start in conference play since 2006, which is the last time the Blue Devils captured the ACC title.
  • This game features the top two offenses in the ACC. Maryland is averaging 2.43 goals per game to Duke’s 2.42. The Blue Devils’ 29 assists leads the ACC while the Terps are second with 28. Chris Tweed-Kent is tied for first on Duke with seven assists. Andrew Morales leads all ACC freshmen and is tied for 10th nationally with four assists. Sunny Jane leads Maryland with five assists.
  • Duke has scored 15 goals against ACC opponents this year, the sixth-most by the Blue Devils in conference play all-time. The 2000 Blue Devils scored 19 goals against ACC foes, the most all-time by a Duke team.
  • All four of Duke’s losses this season have come by one goal. The Blue Devils outshot each of their opponents in those games and have outshot all but three of its opponents this season.
  • Duke is 5-1-1 in games in which they have scored first. The Blue Devils are 5-0 when leading at the half and 0-2 when trailing and 2-2-1 when tied.
  • Duke has outscored their opponents by a 29-17 margin. They have 11 goals in the first half and 18 in the second half. The Blue Devils have scored at least one goal in the first half in six of their seven victories.
  • Nick Palodichuk currently is tied for first among freshmen across the country with six goals and 15 points overall, both of which are second on the Blue Devils.
  • Duke and Maryland have played two common opponent so far this season. Both teams earned wins over NC State and suffered losses to Virginia.
  • The Terrapins are the fifth ranked team the Blue Devils have played this season. Duke is 0-3-1 and has been outscored 7-4 by ranked opponents.
  • Maryland is 3-0 against ranked opponents this season. They have outshot ranked teams by a 46-20 margin. The Terps have outscored ranked opponents 14-2 this season. Against unranked teams, their margin is just 18-7.
  • Maryland has outshot its opponents 244-122 this season, as well as outscoring them 34-10. The Terps have scored 15 goals in the first half and 17 in the second half, as well as two overtime goals.
  • The Terrapins defense is surrendering just 0.71 goals per game, second in the ACC. They have allowed only 39 shots on goal all season. Maryland’s seven shutouts leads the ACC.
  • The Terps are  9-0-0 at home this and have allowed just five goals at Ludwig Field. Maryland is averaging 3,808 fans per game.

You can listen to the action live on WMUC Sports at 6:45. Steve Goldstein will be on the call along with Luke Jackson.


No. 3 Maryland Soccer Welcomes In Top-15 Opponent Charlotte

In their most lopsided game in all of 2010, the Maryland Terrapins dismantled the Virginia Tech Hokies on their home turf by a score of 7-0. However, after Virginia Tech, which had been picked in the preseason to finish in last in the ACC this season, beat then-No. 1 North Carolina September 10 in a 1-0 double overtime thriller, alarms went off that the No. 1 Maryland Terrapins could not take the Hokies lightly this time around.

Sure enough, the Terps did not come into Blacksburg too overconfident. After a frustrating 0-0 tie Tuesday at Seton Hall, Maryland got the ball to their top scorers early and often to create opportunities. While Virginia Tech goalie Kyle Renfro ultimately made eight saves, the Terrapins were able to find the back of the net twice to secure victory. John Stertzer headed in his sixth goal of the year in the 29th minute off a Kaoru Forbess free kick. In the 41st minute, Forbess sent a cross into the box that Casey Townsend netted for his ninth goal of the season to give the Terps a commanding 2-0 lead. Forbess now has three assists in the last four games after tallying just one in the first five matches of the year. Goalkeeper Will Swaim and Maryland’s backline were able to keep the Hokies off the scoreboard for their fifth shutout of the season as Maryland improved to 8-0-1 overall and 3-0-0 in the ACC. It is the first 3-0-0 start for the Terps in the ACC since 2003.

After spending last week away from Ludwig Field, the Terps (8-0-1, 3-0-0), now ranked third in the nation, host No. 12 Charlotte (7-1-0) in the first of two top-15 opponents the Terps will welcome to College Park this week. The 49ers are 2-0-0 against ACC opponents this season, having beaten then No. 10 Virginia 2-1 in overtime and Clemson 3-1. Here are some more notes for tonight’s game:

  • The 49ers enter tonight’s game on a five-game winning streak. They have outscored their opponents 16-5 this season and have shutout their opponents four times in eight games.
  • Charlotte boasts a very balanced scoring attack. Reigning Atlantic-10 Player of the Week Evan James leads the 49ers with four goals on the year. Jennings Rex is second on the team with three goals. Donnie Smith, Tyler Gibson and Isaac Caughrans have tallied two goals apiece.
  • This game will mark the second meeting between the two schools. Maryland defeated Charlotte in 2008 in overtime by a score of 2-1.
  • Over the last three seasons, the 49ers are 5-0-1 against the ACC, including a 2-0-0 record this year.
  • Maryland is outscoring its opponents 25-6 this year. The Terps have allowed just one goal in the last three games.
  • Of the six goals Maryland has allowed this season, five of them have come in the second half.
  • Maryland is surrendering just 0.67 goals per contest. They have allowed only 21 shots on goal all season.
  • The Terrapins are led on offense by Casey Townsend, who leads the team in both goals with nine and points with 18. Townsend had nine goals in all of 2010.
  • John Stertzer is second on the Terps in scoring with six goals and three assists for 15 points. Patrick Mullins is third with five goals and one assist for 11 points. Sunny Jane leads Maryland in assists with five.
  • The Terps have outshot their opponents 165-69 this year.
  • This is Maryland’s sixth home game of the season. The Terps are averaging 4,643 fans per game at Ludwig Field in 2011.
You can listen to the action live on WMUC Sports at 7:20. Luke Jackson and Pauly Kwestel will be on the call.

No. 1 Maryland Men’s Soccer vs. NC State Highlight Package

No. 1 Maryland men’s soccer beat NC State 3-1 Friday night. Click below to listen to my highlight package from the game:


Top-ranked Maryland Soccer Ekes Out Win At UMBC, Host NC State

Everything had fallen into place for Maryland men’s soccer coming into their match Tuesday at in-state opponent UMBC. The Terrapins had throttled Stanford, Radford and No.8 Boston College by a combined score of 10-1 the previous week. During that three-game stretch, the Terps allowed only one shot on goal while they had four different players score at least once. And with then-No. 1 North Carolina losing in double overtime to Virginia Tech, Maryland was voted as the top-ranked team in the country. All of the Terps’ good fortune almost came to a screeching half against an upset-minded and experienced UMBC squad.

The Retrievers were able to hold the Terrapins off the scoreboard in the first half, the first time since Maryland’s victory over West Virginia in the second game of the season that the Terps did not net a first-half goal. However, Maryland came out firing after halftime. Casey Townsend (46th minute) scored his sixth goal of the year just 23 seconds into the second half on a pass from Sunny Jane to give the Terps a 1-0 lead. However, like they would for the rest of the night, UMBC would have an answer. Just six minutes later, Pete Caringi notted things up at one. Townsend (7- 57th) responded with a goal off a corner kick to give Maryland the lead again.

umterps.com

In the 81st minute, Townsend (8) scored his third goal of the game for his second-career hat trick. With only about 10 minutes to play, Maryland owned what looked to be an insurmountable lead with the way the Terps defense had been playing all season long. However, the Retrievers, who had scored only two goals all season long prior to this match, were able to answer once more and stormed back as defender Sean Rothe scored in both the 83rd and 84th minutes to tie things up. The stunned Terrapins would take things to overtime.

At the very end of the first overtime, Maryland was offered a perfect chance to end the game and go back to College Park with a victory. John Stertzer, who had previously knocked home a penalty kick against West Virginia two weeks ago, teed up the ball for a PK after forward Patrick Mullins was fouled inside the box. Stertzer missed the kick, but was able to make up for it later. In the 104th minute, Stertzer (4) headed in the game-winner off a cross from Taylor Kemp to give Maryland a hard-fought 4-3 victory in a game in which not much went their way. The Terps improved to 6-0-0 for the first time since 2003.

Maryland will resume ACC play tonight as they host North Carolina State (2-1-2, 0-0-0) at Ludwig Field. It will be the Wolfpack’s first ACC match of the season. NC State went 1-5-2 in conference play last season. Here are some more notes from today’s game:

  • The Wolfpack have already played two top-ten teams this season. They beat then No.  9 SMU 1-0 in overtime in the Duke/Nike Classic before losing to No. 8 UC Santa Barbara 1-0.
  • NC State has outscored its opponents 4-2 this year. Ollie Kelly leads the team with two goals on the season.
  • The Wolfpack boast a strong defense. Goalkeeper Fabian Otte has posted two shutouts this year and has made 14 saves to go along with his 0.36 goals against average.
  • Maryland beat NC State 3-1 last year in College Park. The Terrapins are 44-20-6 all-time against the Wolfpack.
  • After a two-goal effort against No. 8 Boston College, sophomore forward Patrick Mullins was named as the ACC Co-Player of the Week. Mullins is second on the Terps with five goals and is tied with Stertzer with 11 points, which is tied for second-most on the club.
  • Casey Townsend posted his second-career hat trick Tuesday against UMBC, giving him a team-leading eight goals and 16 points on the year. The senior forward had nine goals all of last season.
  • Maryland has outscored its opponents 20-5 this season. Stertzer is third on the team with four goals.
  • Redshirt senior Will Swaim has started every game in goal for the Terps. He has posted three shutouts and a 0.81 goals against average.
  • Maryland has averaged 4,732 fans per game at Ludwig Field in four matches this season.
You can listen to the action live on WMUC Sports at 7:20. Luke Jackson and Steve Goldstein will be on the call.

Cirovski Reaches 300 Wins, No. 2 Terps Host No.8 Boston College Tonight

The No. 2 Maryland Terrapins men’s soccer team was not at their best Sunday night. Facing an upset-minded Radford Highlanders team, a victory did not come easy, but the Terps earned one nonetheless.

“I thought that this could be a trap game after the three teams we played so far, but our guys came and responded quite well in the first half,” said head coach Sasho Cirovski.

Coming into Sunday night, Maryland had won convincingly over three brand-name schools – St. John’s, No. 17 West Virginia and Stanford. The Terps outscored their opponents 10-1. However, after goals from forwards Patrick Mullins (3- 20th minute) and Casey Townsend (4- 31st), Maryland was not able to simply use firepower to blowout another opponent. With freshman Kyle Roach starting for injured senior Alex Lee on the backline, the Terrapins (4-0-0) had to fend Radford off after Anthony Payne cut the lead in half in the 61st minute for the Highlanders (1-2-0).

“We haven’t had to manage a game at the end,” Cirovski said. “Today, I thought, we did that pretty well.”

The Terps’ ability to take control of the game late in the second half halted any thoughts of a Radford comeback and gave Cirovski his 300th career win, which places him 10th all-time among active Division I men’s soccer head coaches.

“I didn’t even know it until about three or four days ago when it was on the website,” Cirovski said when asked about the pressure of getting his 300th victory. “I would like to thank all of my former players and assistants who helped contribute and build this program. This is a collaborative team effort with all the great players, and the blood, sweat and tears and the coaches, what they’ve put in, it’s more of achievement for the program than it is for an individual coach.”

With Cirovski’s milestone out of the way, the Terps turn their attention towards ACC play. They host the eighth-ranked Boston College Eagles (4-0-0) tonight at rain-soaked Ludwig Field. The match will be Maryland’s first in conference play as they seek to defend their ACC Championship from last season.

“I really like this group,” said Cirovski. “They’re a fun group to coach. They’re very mature, very committed for such a young group and I think I’ve seen a lot of good things.”

Some notes for tonight’s game:

  • Boston College is tied with Maryland and Virginia for the ACC lead in scoring. Each team is averaging three goals per game.
  • Amit Aburmad, Kyle Bekker and Charlie Rugg have accounted for 10 of the Eagles’ 12 goals this year.
  • The two teams tied 1-1 last season in a game played in Chestnut Hill. Maryland is 5-2-1 all-time against Boston College.
  • Casey Townsend, John Stertzer and Patrick Mullins have combined for 10 of the Terps’ 12 goals this season.
  • Maryland has outscored its opponents 12-2 on the year.
You can listen to the action on WMUC Sports at 7:20. Pauly Kwestel and Luke Jackson will be on the call.

Cirovski Goes For Win No. 300 As No. 4 Terps Take On Radford

After scoring six second-half goals in their first two matches of the season, the No. 4 Maryland Terrapins men’s soccer team finally got off to a fast start Friday against Stanford. In front of 7,178 fans, the second-largest crowd ever at Ludwig Field, the Terps scored four first-half goals, the team’s most since scoring four, two of them from Casey Townsend, against Duquesne on September 15, 2009 in what would be a 7-0 victory.

The Terps proved their speed to be a mismatch against the Cardinal (0-2-0) from the get-go. Patrick Mullins (2) found the back of the net just 22 second into the match. Casey Townsend (2) followed up in the 10th minute with a left-footed strike from 12 yards out. In the 28th minute, Helge Leikvang (1) curved a free kick over Stanford’s wall and past Cardinal goalie Jason Dodson. Just like in Maryland’s four-goal first-half against Duquesne two years ago, Townsend (3-30th) scored his second goal of the half and the Terps built what would be an insurmountable 4-0 lead. Maryland goalkeeper Will Swaim did not need to make a save and picked up his second shutout of the season as the Terps improved to 3-0-0.

Maryland will host Radford (1-1-0) tonight at 7 p.m. as head coach Sasho Cirovski seeks his 300th career win. The Highlanders are coming off a 2-0 loss to Georgetown on Friday. College Park is the third stop on their six-game road-trip to begin the season.

Some notes for tonight’s game:

  • Maryland has outscored opponents 10-1 this season. John Stertzer and Casey Townsend lead the Terps with three goals apiece.
  • Radford sophomore Luis Grande was named the Big South Attacking Player of the Week after his golden-goal 49 seconds into overtime to give the Highlands a season-opening victory over Appalachian State. Chel Ho Kim Park assisted the goal.

You can listen to the action on WMUC Sports at 6:50. I will be on the call along with Eric Morrow.


No. 4 Terps Soccer Takes On No. 17 West Virginia

umterps.com

After a shaky first-half Friday against St. John’s in which they were outshot 7-3, the Maryland offense took off. Patrick Mullins (1) scored the season’s first goal in the 51st minute before John Stertzer (1) followed up just four minutes later to give the Terps a 2-0 lead. In the 76th minute, senior forward Casey Townsend (1) scored his first goal of the year by heading in a corner kick from freshman midfielder Alex Shinsky and Maryland all but ended things, winning 3-0 over the Red Storm. In his first game in goal since 2009, Will Swaim recorded his sixth career shutout.

The Terps will play their first regular season game at Ludwig Field this year as No. 4 Maryland takes on No. 17 West Virginia at 7 p.m tonight. The Mountaineers are coming off a 1-0 victory over No. 11 Virginia and boast a very strong defense. West Virginia did not allow a shot on goal in their win Friday and the Cavaliers only tallied three total shots. Junior goalkeeper Pat Eavenson played in all 90 minutes in goal for his first career shutout. Their backline will be put to the test against a very talented scoring group for the Terps, who ranked as college soccer’s best offense last year and return plenty of offensive firepower this season.

Some more notes for tonight’s game:

  • Maryland head coach Sasho Cirovski is 297-123-29 at the helm in College Park. He needs just three wins to reach 300 victories as the Terps’ head coach.
  • Maryland is 7-3-1 on its opening weekend since 2006. The Terps fell to No. 24 Michigan State 4-3 in overtime in their home opener last season before pounding Northeastern, 5-0, two days later.
  • Two players on the watch list for the MAC Hermann Trophy will match up with each other tonight. West Virginia senior defender Raymon Gaddis will clash with Maryland senior forward Casey Townsend as the Mountaineers look to slow down the Terps’ offensive attack.
You can listen to the action on WMUC Sports at 6:45. I will be on the call with Eric Morrow.