The Cavalier Daily
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Men's soccer drops close battle

COLLEGE PARK, M.D.--In an emotional and physical Conference match that featured 38 fouls and two yellow cards, the No. 14 Virginia men's soccer team (2-2, 0-1 ACC) fell yesterday to No. 8 Maryland (3-1, 1-0), 1-0 before 2,034 at Ludwig Field in College Park.

The game's lone goal came early in the second half after a rough-and-tumble opening stanza that saw 23 fouls.

In the fifth minute, Terp freshman forward A.J. Herrera streaked ahead of a Cavalier defender down the right side of the goal box. Cavalier goalkeeper Kyle Singer followed Herrera, a former Parade Player of the Year, to the edge of the box, leaving him out of position when Herrera sent a long cross to freshman midfielder Scott Buette. With Singer out of the picture, Buette directed the pass into Virginia's empty net. An assist was also given to Maryland's Jason Cropley.

The game was a raw battle from the outset, precipitated by Cav coach George Gelnovatch's physical game plan. Both defenses played well, keeping the game at the midfield for virtually the entire first 20 minutes, but Virginia's midfield was noticeably more aggressive. In the first 20 minutes, 10 fouls were called, all of them on the Cavaliers.

"The physical play wasn't designed," Virginia forward Ryan Gibbs said. "It's the first ACC game, and you're always going to go and battle as hard as you can. We wanted to compete right from the beginning."

In the final punch-count, Virginia tallied 23 fouls to Maryland's 15, not unexpected in such a heated rivalry and in a game with such significant Conference and national standing ramifications.

Buette's goal gave the Terrapins their first win over the Cavaliers at home in 22 years.

"As we become a better program, our games will be more physical," Terp coach Sasho Cirovski said. "This is clearly one of the top two or three rivalries in the country. There's not much out there better than Maryland and Virginia right now. It's always going to be a tough battle."

The offense began to loosen up for the Cavs in the 17th minute. Forward Ryan Trout, coming off a spectacular four-goal performance in the Cavaliers' win last week over Appalachian State, was the recipient of a crossing pass by midfielder Kyle Martino that found Trout several feet from the Terrapin goal. Trout's shot missed but was recovered by Virginia midfielder Eric Solomon, who directed the ball to Steve Totten.

Totten's shot was saved by Maryland keeper Christian Lewis.

While Virginia's defensive combination of Mike Feller, Chad Prince, Marshall Leonard and Jonathan Cole kept the Terrapins to only 12 shots and a lone goal, it was Maryland's back line that frustrated the Cavaliers throughout the match. Dan Califf, a 180-pound defender that pushed and shoved Cav forwards out of scoring position, led the Terrapin defense that limited Virginia to only 11 shots.

"There was a 15-minute period at the end of the first half and a 15-minute period at the beginning of the second where they outplayed us," Gelnovatch said. "In the last 20-25 minutes, we got at them really good. We had good chances. Really, the game could have been 1-1. It could have gone either way"


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