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No. 1 Terps edges UMBC in OT thriller, 4-3

All-American forward Casey Townsend had a hat trick against the Retrievers.

Just over three minutes into a second overtime John Stertzer headed in a free kick taken by Taylor Kemp to lift the No. 1 Maryland Terrapins soccer team past UMBC in a 4-3 thriller.

Both Maryland (6-0-0) and UMBC (now 2-1-2) were undefeated going into the game held in front of a Retriever Soccer Park record crowd of 2,513, coming off seasons that ended in the NCAA tournament.

“I think it was a very exciting college soccer game,” Maryland head coach Sasho Cirvoski said. “I wanted to bring our team into a hornet’s nest…to have the largest crowd in their program’s history and a good team pushing us.”

The first half was a defensive battle, ending with the scores tied at zero but 23 seconds into the second half Terps All-American forward Casey Townsend knocked in a cross to give Maryland a 1-0 lead, opening a barrage of goals to come.

Six minutes later the Retrievers knotted up the score when sophomore striker Pete Caringi III made a diving header off a well-placed pass by senior Sean Rothe.

But Townsend struck again less than five minutes later with a goal off a corner kick taken by Kaori Forbess. Maryland clearly had the aerial advantage in the game. In the 81st minute Townsend completed his hat trick after knocking in another corner kick, the team’s third of four goals off crosses.

With less than ten minutes remaining and a 3-1 advantage the Terps looked as if they had put the Retrievers away but Rothe ripped in a brilliant shot from 27 yards out from the right side, placing it just under the cross bar in the upper right corner.

That was a big momentum changer for the Retrievers and 71 ticks of the clock later Rothe struck again for his second goal of the game when he put the ball inside the far left post from 13 yards out, making the score 3-3.

“[Coming back to tie the game] shows a lot of character,” said UMBC Head Coach Pete Caringi Jr., who is in his 21st season with the team. “That’s something we talk about all the time, about not quitting and playing until the very end. At that point they were controlling the game but we don’t quit.”

For the rest of regulation UMBC controlled the game and one the few occasions the Terps got the ball down their side of the field the Retriever defense, which was without star center back Daniel Welsh, who was serving a red card suspension, was quick to get the ball back to their forwards but both of UMBC’s attempts sailed wide.

Both teams had numerous chances to put the game away in overtime. With 30 seconds left in the first overtime period Maryland was awarded a penalty kick but Retriever goalkeeper Dan Louisignau made one of his nine stops in the game to extend the game.

Then, in the second overtime period Michael DiCesare took an early shot but the Terps defense blocked it but Kinglsey Onwuka collected the ball right in front of the goal but his attempt was stopped by Terp keeper Will Swaim.

Stertzer made up for his saved penalty kick, though, with the game winner two minutes later.

“I give our guys credit,” Cirocski said. “We calmed down. We showed great resilience and great grit. The reason I have John Stertzer take penalty kicks is because he has the courage and strength to come back from that. And he certainly came back with a great goal.”

While the Terps remained undefeated, even in a loss the Retrievers soccer program made a name for itself. UMBC was unranked going into the game but took the No. 1 team in the nation to double overtime after trailing by two goals in the second half.

“It’s not a moral victory,” Caringi Jr. said. “We thought we could win the game, we went in thinking we could win the game, we played until the very end thinking we could win the game so we don’t take away any moral victories because they’re the No. 1 team in the country but at the end of the day I’m really proud of our kids and how they played.”

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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