COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Freshman Sebastian Elney headed home the game winner in the 96th minute to lift the No. 6 Maryland men’s soccer team past top-ranked UCLA 2-1 in front of a Ludwig Field record crowd of 8,449 fans Friday night.
Mael Corboz also scored for the Terrapins (2-0-1), who topped the previous record crowd of 8,397 established Sept. 6, 2013 against Duke. Redshirt junior Cody Niedermeier made six saves in his first start in goal at Ludwig.
“When you have two teams of this caliber go back and forth and compete at the highest level this early in the year, that’s an incredible soccer game,” head coach Sasho Cirovskisaid. “This was a magnificent atmosphere and it will certainly go down as one of the magical moments in Maryland Soccer history.”
After a Maryland-dominated first half in which the Terrapins outshot last year’s national runner-up 11-3, the game began to even out in the second period.
Corboz put the Terps on the board first with his first goal of the season on a penalty kick in the 67th minute. After some fantastic ball movement through the middle of the field, Chris Odoi-Atsem snagged a ball on the far sideline and his ensuing shot knocked off the hand of a Bruin defender in the box, setting up Corboz’s penalty kick opportunity.
After two world-class saves by Niedermeier, UCLA finally answered in the 80th minute with an 18-yard blast from Abu Danladi which beat Niedermeier to his left for a tie game.
The Terps had two chances down the stretch with a pair of good opportunities by Jake Areman and DJ Reeves but both were saved and Maryland headed to its second overtime match of the season.
It would be Elney’s turn to shine in the extra stanza. Following a slick move by Tsubasa Endoh to juke a defender on the near sideline, the senior’s pass to the far post was spot on for Elney, who headed home the game-winner over a leaping Juan Cervantes for the victory.
“We showed the heart of champion,” Cirovski said. “We were a little bit on the ropes but we came through with a great goal worthy of a winner in a game of this magnitude.”