Maryland freshman midfielder Scott Buete pictured himself scoring a goal against Virginia many times before last night's Atlantic Coast Conference season opener for both teams. Last night he made those daydreams a reality by netting a 50th-minute goal -- the lone tally in No. 4 Maryland's 1-0 victory over the No. 17 Cavaliers before 2,034 at Ludwig Field.
It was a fiercely contested match, with 38 fouls between young teams loaded with national-caliber talent. It was also the Terrapins' first regular season victory over Virginia since 1990.
"This is a great win," said Maryland Coach Sasho Cirovski, who took over the program in 1990 and has a 2-5-3 record against the Cavaliers, including postseason play. "Every time we get together, it's a battle. This is clearly one of the top rivalries in college soccer right now."
Buete scored after an evenly played first half. Maryland defender Beckett Hollenbach lofted a cross to the top of the Virginia penalty area, where senior Jason Cropley flicked it wide to freshman A.J. Herrera. Herrera dribbled toward the goal and drove a low cross toward the far post, where Buete ran behind the defense to knock in his second goal of the season.
Many among the crowd were friends and family of Buete, an All-Met selection at Bowie High School last year. "A lot of my friends asked me this week, `What if you scored against Virginia?' " he said. "So I envisioned it many times, but you never know what's going to happen."
After scoring, Buete sprinted across the field and in front of the main grandstand, pointing at the crowd. He said he was not pointing at anyone in particular.
"I was so excited, I just wanted to run," Buete said. "So many people came to watch me tonight, so I just wanted to say, `Hi and thanks for coming.' "
Maryland (3-1, 1-0) has just two seniors on its roster and one, midfielder Jamie Eichmann, did not play last night. Virginia, meanwhile, has just one senior -- midfielder Drew O'Donnell. Between the teams, seven freshmen started and four more came on as substitutes.
Virginia (2-2, 0-1) had its best chances in the game's latter stages, but Maryland junior goalkeeper Christian Lewis made five saves, including diving stops on a low, 12-yard shot by freshman Ryan Gibbs in the 75th minute and Steve Totten's 16-yard bid in the 83rd minute.
"It was good, hard soccer," Virginia Coach George Gelnovatch said. "I thought for a 15-minute stretch at the end of the first half and again just after halftime they took it to us, but other than that, the game was pretty even."