Nov. 1, 2009

Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The No. 6 Maryland men's soccer team battled No. 10 Virginia to a 0-0 tie in Atlantic Coast Conference action Saturday night at Ludwig Field.

Wet playing conditions and steady defensive play kept both offenses quiet with only a total of seven shots taken in the first half. Virginia came dangerously close to breaking the scoreless tie in the 25th minute when Neil Barlow had a one-on-one opportunity just inside the box but Zac MacMath won the race to the ball to keep the Cavaliers off the board.

Casey Townsend, who returned to the starting lineup for the first time since Oct. 9, had a shot blocked in the 26th minute then was a key component to the Terps next drive two minutes later. The sophomore forward changed fields with a pass over to a streaking Billy Cortes down the far sideline. Cortes centered the ball but Virginia was able to clear.

At 38:49, Jonathan Villanueva lined up for a free kick 25 yards out and got a solid left foot on the ball but MacMath made a nice save to his right to preserve the tie.

A pair of red cards sidelined Barlow and Cortes at 41:03. Barlow slid into MacMath and a scuffle in front of the net sent Cortes out of the game.

The Terps stepped up their offense in the second stanza, outshooting Virginia, 8-4, in the period including a pair of solid chances in the final five minutes of the game. Kaoru Forbess took a long-range shot from 25 yards out that sailed just wide of the near post in the 86th minute and Taylor Kemp moved up and had a solid strike go wide left two minutes later as the game rolled into overtime knotted at nil.

Maryland rattled off five shots in the first overtime period while holding the Cavaliers to only one. Drew Yates intercepted a failed clear from Virginia keeper Diego Restrepo in the 92nd minute and Forbess had a strike go errant two minutes later. Restrepo came up with a pair of big saves with 4:30 remaining in the first extra period as the Cavs keeper saved a blast from Kemp and the rebound attempt by Townsend.

Matt Kassel notched the Terps lone shot of the second overtime period in the 105th minute but his strike went off the far post.

"We played some pretty good soccer and had a decent rhythm to the game," head coach Sasho Cirovski said. "I thought we really had some good chances in the overtime periods but their keeper made the save of the game (on Townsend's rebound attempt) and that was really the difference."

Maryland tallied its seventh shutout of the year. It is the first scoreless tie in the regular season for Maryland since Sept. 13, 1997 when the Terps tied Virginia at home.

The Terps (10-4-2, 4-2-2 ACC) are still in the hunt for the conference regular season title following a Wake Forest loss Friday night. The Terps cannot finish any worse than third in the standings, pending the result of Wake Forest's (4-2-1) game versus Duke and North Carolina's (4-2-1) final ACC contest at Clemson next Friday.

Maryland plays Navy in a non-conference tilt Tuesday at Ludwig.