No. 1 Maryland required a late goal to escape with a 3-2 win over the College of Charleston men's soccer team in front of 2,230 fans at Patriots Point on Saturday night. The Cougars held the lead on two separate occasions but Maryland's two second-half goals were the difference in the match.
The Cougars, having now played six teams either ranked or receiving votes in the NSCAA / Continental Tire Coaches Poll, fall to 4-6-0 on the year.
Sean de Silva (Port of Spain, Trinidad) and Francis Twohig (St. Simon's Island, Ga.) both netted their second goals of the season for the Cougars, but Maryland converted headers in the box three times to eke out the win.
"I'm real proud of my players; they stepped up tonight," said head coach Ralph Lundy. "We felt confident; the boys still feel confident. We knew we could play with them. I've got a good team and we showed it. The confidence was present before the game; during the game; at half time; through the second half. They just knocked theirs in and we didn't finish our chances in the second half; we had some great chances.
"It was a great game. What a great place this is and what a great crowd it was. It was tremendous. We want to win those games though. I'm not taking satisfaction from playing them tough. I want to beat Maryland and I want to beat them all. Failure just means we're going to work harder and get after it more."
The Cougars came out strong in the early going and produced the first quality chances of the match and forced the Terrapins on their heels during the early stages.
CofC broke first in the 19th minute when Sam Redmond (Asheville, N.C.) played a through ball to Luke Huggett (Brighton, England) at the top-right corner of the box. With his first touch, Huggett centered the ball for de Silva who drove the ball off the bottom of the crossbar and into the back of the net.
In the 33rd minute, Tsubasa Endoh sent in a corner kick and Landon Woodberry got his head to it and sent the ball into the far-side of the goal to equalize the match.
CofC's raucous fans were not deterred and stayed behind the Cougars and Francis Twohig (St. Simon's Island, Ga.) rewarded them in the dying minutes of the first period. He collected a misplayed clearance in the box and as Maryland goalkeeper Keith Cardona charged him, he casually chipped the ball over his head and into the back of the net to put CofC up, 2-1, in the 43rd minute.
The Cougars carried the lead into the locker room after outshooting the Terps, 6-3, in the opening period.
The second half became increasingly more physical and called for eight more fouls than the opening period did.
Maryland netted its second equalizer in the 66th minute when Taylor Kemp sent a ball into the box from the left side and David Kabelik redirected it into the net with his header.
The decisive goal came in the 84th minute and once again on a set-piece header. Kemp again stood over the ball and sent it across the goal mouth and Woodberry slid the ball into a sliver of space between the post and CofC keeper Kees Heemskerk (Zaandam, Holland).
Heemskerk made two saves on the evening, both on well-driven balls through a crowded box.
The Cougars face another tough opponent with heightened importance as they now set their sights on the Southern Conference season and their opener with No. 25 Furman. The Cougars and Paladins kickoff from Greenville, S.C., at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 6.