You could hear the NSCAA second guessing their choice, you could hear the record crowd of UMBC faithful growing louder as the seconds ticked by, but most of all you could hear the crashing of the #1 Terps in the national rankings.
But like a true top team, they found a way to win.
The Terps survived a thriller of a game Tuesday night in Baltimore, stealing the upset win from the UMBC Retrievers 4-3 in the 104th minute of the match, off junior John Stertzer’s header.
Stertzer had the chance to end the match in the first OT, after Patrick Mullins was taken down in the box setting up a monumental PK with 30 seconds left. The ensuing shot was weakly delivered leading to an easy save for UMBC (2-1-2) keeper Dan Louisignau.
But redemption was sweet for #27 who took a Taylor Kemp cross to the goal from five yards out.
Yet, the Terps never should have been in this position in the first place. After a slow first half by both teams, Maryland (6-0-0) struck first only a minute into the second half when Casey Townsend took a cross from Sunny Jane. Townsend would register a hat trick for the night, scoring again in the 56th and 81th minute.
Up 3-1 with a little less than 10 minutes to go the Terps had this in the bag. Or so it seemed.
Defender Sean Rothe for UMBC went on an offensive binge, gutting the Maryland D for two scores in the 83rd and 84th minute tying up the game and sending the home crowd into a frenzy. UMBC scored three goals in one half after only having scored three goals in four games.
The backline by all accounts was out of synch, missed their marks and did an overall poor job. After such impressive lockdowns of ranked teams (BC and West Virginia) this game is a bit shocking.
Maybe it was the rivalry aspect, maybe they were just overlooking them to Friday’s game against NC State or maybe it was bad luck. Whatever it is the Terps cannot afford another night like this defensively. They carry the #1 title which means every team is going full force to knock them off.
Player of the Game: Tough choice. Do you go with the player who scored the game winner in the 104th minute or the player with the hat trick? I’m going with Casey Townsend, he put the team on his back, leading them to a 3-1 lead with 10 minutes left. If the defense had played up to their standards Stertzer’s header would not have been needed.