COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Schillo Tshuma redirected a Patrick Mullins shot late in the first overtime period to lift No. 1 Maryland past No. 2 North Carolina 1-0 on Friday at Ludwig Field.
A crowd of 7,340, the second-highest in Maryland (12-0-1, 6-0-0 ACC) history, saw a high-energy contest with the top-ranked teams in the country going back and forth.
The Terrapins dominated the first half of play, creating multiple high-quality chances. Mullins’ long-distance strike was saved by UNC goalkeeper Scott Goodwin as the Maryland attack outran the top defensive team in the country early.
Maryland’s opportunities continued midway through the half. Maryland peppered North Carolina’s goal with five shots in a short period of time, but Goodwin withstood the test, making three quality saves.
Maryland picked up where it left off in the second half. Midfielder Jereme Raley’s corner was nearly equated into a goal by defender Dakota Edwards within the first three minutes, but his effort slammed off the post.
The last 10 minutes saw both teams get within inches of victory. Midfielder John Stertzer created a chance with four minutes remaining, but Goodwin saved the short-range effort.
Tshuma’s header with two minutes remaining struck the post as the Terrapins continued to press for the game-winner.
North Carolina (11-2-1, 4-1-1 ACC) was able to beat Maryland on the counter and create its best chance of the night late in regulation. Junior forward Robert Lovejoy was taken down in the box late by Tshuma, but Maryland keeper Keith Cardona came up huge, saving Lovejoy’s penalty and midfielder Verneri Valimaa’s follow-up.
Maryland came right back down the field after the penalty, and Mullins’ shot with a few seconds on the clock found the post.
|NORTH CAROLINA VS. MARYLAND|
Maryland finally obtained the breakthrough in the first overtime stanza. Tshuma was able to find Mullins streaking on the left side of the box. Mullins’ hard left-footed shot was redirected in by Tshuma for the winner.
The goal was Tshuma’s sixth of the season, and Mullins’ team-leading 24th point on the year. It was only the fourth goal North Carolina’s defense has surrendered all season.
“This was a great game. It was a great advertisement for college soccer,” head coach Sasho Cirovski said. “This was a real classic one versus two game and this is one of those nights I’ll always treasure.
“[We made] the plays in this game we needed to make. We dominated the first half, came up a little empty and battled through the second half. They hit a few goalposts and we hit a few goalposts. We saved a penalty and then we win in overtime. It doesn’t get much better than that.
“I love our fans. For me and the players to have them stand and sing and cheer through these conditions is one of the most humbling things a player or coach can have,” Cirovski said.