Freshman midfielder Patrick Mullins put on an offensive display Friday night, leading the eighth ranked Terps to a 2-0 victory over No. 9 Duke in front of a record-breaking crowd of 7,260 at Ludwig Field.
The Terps got on the board first in the 33rd minute when forward Jason Herrick was taken down by Duke defender Andrew Wenger in the box. Midfielder Matt Kassel drilled the penalty kick in past goalie James Belshaw, and Maryland took a 1-0 lead.
Maryland scored again in the 41st minute, after a Herrick shot was blocked by Belshaw and deflected back to Mullins, who fired it in to make it 2-0. Mullins impressed throughout the game, showing fancy footwork and collecting beautiful shots. “At first, I wanted to hit the free kick, but [Kassel] overruled me,” Mullins said. “I was just in the right place in the right time. We talk about following shots up, and that’s what happened.” Ives Galarcep, of the great website SoccerbyIves.com, tweeted during the game “Patrick Mullins is a freshman but arguably most impressive player on Terps squad tonight.”
Duke star forward Ryan Finley was able to make opportunities throughout the game, but was unable to capitalize for the Blue Devils. Finley finished with three shots, but none on goal. “I thought we did a great job in the second half [on Finley],” coach Sasho Cirovski said. “First half, I thought we had some good moments but he found some space. At halftime, we really corrected a few things and we did a very good job on him in the second half. I thought today, Alex [Lee] and Ethan [White], that was the best they’ve played together.”
Mullins joined Matt Oduaran and Paul Torres off the bench for Maryland, and all three made Cirovski look very good with his substitution decisions (as usual).
Maryland’s next game comes Tuesday, October 5th, at home against UConn. Kick-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Player of the Game – Patrick Mullins. The freshman was phenomenal in the Terps’ effort, and should challenge for a starting job. Cirovski called him his “super-sub”.