Maryland men honor senior class with 2-1 defeat of N.C. State
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Senior Patrick Mullins scored the game-winner early in the second half as the No. 8 Maryland men’s soccer team defeated NC State 2-1 on Senior Night at Ludwig Field Friday.
The Terrapins (9-3-5, 6-1-3 ACC) dominated play for most of the night against the Wolfpack (7-5-4, 2-5-3 ACC) but still had to stage a comeback after surrendering an early goal. Senior Sunny Jane scored the Terps’ other tally and the defense allowed NC State just five shots.
The Wolfpack struck first in the opening moments. Michael Bajza served a free kick that was headed on by Gbenga Makinde and finished by Nick Surkamp in the seventh minute.
For the remainder of the half, the Terps pushed forward in search of an equalizer, stymieing any Wolfpack possession. Mullins and junior Dan Metzger both had good chances, but couldn’t find the net.
Jane finally pulled the Terps level in the 43rd minute, volleying home an Alex Shinsky cross from 12 yards out. It was Jane’s second goal in three games and Shinksy’s first point of the season.
Mullins put the home side ahead in the 47th minute when his low free kick took a deflection and trickled into the back of the net. It was Mullins’ 13th goal of the season.
The remainder of the contest saw the Terps control proceedings before fending off a late NC State surge. The Terrapin back four of Jereme Raley, Suli Dainkeh, Chris Odoi-Atsem and Mikey Ambrose was rock solid in front of freshman keeper Zack Steffen.
Metzger was also a standout for the Terps on the night. The junior was vital in connecting the Terp defense with its attack from his spot in the center of midfield.
Before the game, Maryland honored the Terrapins’ seven seniors. Mullins, Jane, Jake Pace, Jordan Cyrus, Gordon Murie, Widner Saint Cyr and Helge Leikvang were recognized at midfield for their contributions to the program, which include recording an astounding 62-11-12 record the last four years in College Park.
“What a great way to celebrate senior night to have two of your seniors put the ball in the back of the net in great fashion,” head coach Sasho Cirovski. “I’m really proud of our team. We stayed composed and took over the game and rightfully deserved to get the victory.
“That’s a very good NC State team and they are better than their record shows. I thought tonight was a good performance and we got better with every minute.”
The Terrapins take the field for the final time in an ACC regular-season match next Friday at Virginia Tech. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET on ESPN3.