Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly said that the U-Md. cheering section known as the Crew was created eight years ago. It was created nine years ago. This version has been updated.
Nine years ago, nearly to the day as the story goes, the Crew was formed on a night just like this.
UCLA entered Ludwig Field on Sept. 5, 2003, ranked first nationally in men’s soccer. Maryland was second. During warmups, some freshmen sat in the new, empty seats behind the goals. And so was born the singing, standing-only sea of red that backdrops both nets during home matches.
The Terrapins won that game, 1-0. Friday’s match against UCLA, the second game of the 20th season of Maryland Coach Sasho Cirovski’s career, went into overtime. But no manner of celebration from the sixth-largest crowd in Ludwig history, not even a banner of Cirovski’s face held by the Crew during pregame introductions, could boost the Terps, ranked third by Soccer America, beyond a 2-2 tie with the No. 14 Bruins.
Maryland bumped its unbeaten streak at home to 22 games. It outshot the Bruins 22-8 and had eight more corner kicks. Yet the furious attack that blasted then-No. 7 Louisville, 3-0, in the season opener five days prior never broke through for the game-winner.
After two first-half goals from forward Reed Williams put UCLA up 2-1 at intermission, the Bruins opened the second half on the defensive. But in the 68th minute, Maryland freshman Ntokozo “Schillo” Tshuma (Episcopal), The Washington Post’s All-Met Player of the Year last fall, drew a foul in the box. Reigning ACC Player of the Week John Stertzer calmly buried the penalty kick past goalkeeper Juan Cervantes, who guessed correctly but over-dove the low game-tying liner.
“We just had to stay calm,” Terps defender London Woodberry said. “We’re not used to giving up goals like that. After that, we came together as a team and said we’re not giving up any more goals.”
A frenzied start by both sides broke through in the ninth minute when Williams, off a long throw-in, beat Terps goalkeeper Keith Cardona on the near post. Just 19 seconds later, on Maryland’s ensuing possession, Mikey Ambrose played a long run in the far corner, sending a low cross that snaked its way through two collapsing players and the diving Cervantes. Dan Metzger one-timed it into the net.
The Bruins regained the lead in the 14th minute on a lead pass from Victor Munoz. A deft touch from Fernando Monge found an open Williams at short range.
Once the fireworks settled, the Terps, who returned eight starters from last season, went on the attack. Mikias Eticha clanged one off the post in the 35th minute. Taylor Kemp came close in the 55th. One-timers sailed wide. And a defense anchored by three seniors held tight against the Pacific-12 preseason favorites in what very well could be a preview of a College Cup match.
“We play these games at this time of the year so we can learn something about ourselves,” Cirovski said. “And I think tonight we got a little more hardened, a little challenged, and we’re going to have to learn.
“At the end of the day, two of the best teams in the country put on a pretty good show.”
●GEORGETOWN 1, CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE 0:The 21st-ranked Hoyas continued their winning ways, improving to 3-0 on the season with the shutout at North Kehoe Field.
Brandon Allen provided the game’s only score when he tapped in a pass from Keegan Rosenberry in the 26th minute.
Yensen put Virginia Tech up 1-0 four minutes into the game when she headed a cross from Ashley Manning.
The Hokies outshot Mount St. Mary’s 29-2. Virginia Tech visits American on Sunday.
●VIRGINIA 3, TEXAS 0:The 10th-ranked Cavaliers posted their fourth consecutive shutout victory, downing the Longhorns in Austin, Tex.
Virginia got scores from Molly Menchel, Makenzy Doniak and Caroline Miller in winning its first road opener since the 2008 season. Doniak has now scored in five straight games, the longest for a Cavalier since Lindsay Gusick’s six-game streak in 2004.
The Cavs conclude their road trip Sunday with a match against SMU in the final day of the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational.