Reza Mohseni scored on a loose ball early in the second half and Maryland used an outstanding defense to tie nationally top-ranked Duke, 1-1, yesterday in an Atlantic Coast Conference soccer game before 500 in College Park.
After a regulation-time tie, Maryland defender Patrick Nelson made the play of the game when he swept in from the left side to block Charlie Guevara's breakaway attempt with two minutes remaining in the second overtime period.
"We made some noise in the ACC, let me tell you!" bellowed Maryland Coach Joe Grimaldi, in his second year in charge of a program that boasts no victories in the conference since one over the Blue Devils in 1978. "Good soccer has come back to Maryland. We didn't play for a tie. We wanted a win."
The Terrapins (0-1-1 in the ACC, 5-3-3 overall) have not lost in four games. They outshot Duke, 18-17, and patiently worked a short-passing offense. Both teams played a physical, end-to-end game, and 54 fouls were called. Four yellow cards (caution), two on each team, were handed out.
"We are in a midseason slump," said Duke Coach John Rennie, whose team has scored six goals in its last five games. "We're lacking consistency in our midfield. But this is a very short field, and their (Maryland's) keeper can punt the ball 80 yards easily. It's high school level tactics, but it's effective."
Duke (1-0-1, overall 11-0-1) scored first at 1:20. Joe Ulrich sent a crossing pass into the box, and Terrapin goalie Ken Wilkerson came out to meet it. But Wilkerson misjudged the ball, and Guevara, out of McLean High School, headed it in for his fourth goal of the year.
"I was afraid that goal would get everybody down," said Wilkerson, who made six saves. "But everybody was so up for this game, even four goals wouldn't have gotten us down."
The Blue Devils, who held an 8-6 first-half advantage in shots, nearly made the score 2-0 when forward Sean McCoy faked his defender out of position and sent a line drive into the box. Wilkerson was able to leap and deflect the ball off the crossbar.
Maryland tied the score at 48:55. Mohseni collected a loose ball off a throw-in and punched it into the right side of the goal from 20 yards out for his fourth goal of the season.
"From my angle, the goal was wide open," said Mohseni.
Instead of playing for the tie, the Terrapins pressed and came close to scoring several times. The best chance came at 72:00, when Ed Gauss crossed a 30-foot free kick toward the goal; Brett Stevens' weak header was stopped by Duke goalie Pat Johnston.