No. 20 Maryland men’s soccer drops DMV showdown to Virginia

Photo by University of Maryland Athletics

Luke Van Heukelum stood at the spot with the Terps trailing Virginia, 2-1, in the second half. Van Heukelum started his kick, firing left. Virginia keeper Holden Brown went the same way, denying the freshman’s chance at a goal. 

It was the second time in as many games that the Terps couldn’t convert on a penalty kick.

“We’ve really hurt ourselves from that standpoint and you know you have to credit the opposing keepers both did a good job, but we need to start converting our penalty kicks,” said head coach Sasho Cirovski. 

No. 20 Maryland Men’s Soccer was held scoreless in the second half, losing to Virginia in Charlottesville, 2-1.

The first twenty minutes of the game reminded everyone watching about how the old ACC rivals used to face off. In the Terps’ first time visiting Charlottesville in ten years, the action was fast-paced and physical. Four fouls and a yellow card were given out in the first nine minutes. 

The physicality didn’t let up as the game went on and in the last seconds of the 12th minute, Alex Nitzl fouled a Virginia player in the box, setting up a penalty kick for Virginia senior Leo Afonso. Afonso stutter stepped into his kick getting Mikah Seger to dive left. Afonso fired right, putting the Cavaliers ahead, 1-0. 

The Terps responded within the minute. Kimani Stewart-Baynes raced down the left sideline. Stewart-Baynes slowed down as he neared the box and crossed the ball into Stefan Copetti. Copetti jumped and headed the ball into the goal, tying the score, his first of the season. 

“Little bit of a monkey off the back obviously I’ve had the chances in the first three games just couldn’t bury it,” said Copetti. “Confidence wise getting that goal is definitely a boost for me.”

The score changed hands once more in the 17th minute on a breakaway by Virginia midfielder Mouhameth Thiam. Thiam beat the Maryland defender and made his way into the box where he fired to the right of the net, getting the ball past Seger, and putting the Cavaliers back on top. 

The go-ahead goal was the last of the game as neither team was able to score in the second half. 

The Cavaliers continued the same speed from the first half, coming out of the break with three shots within the first five minutes of play. The Terps rattled off their own flurry of shots but none of them found the back of the net. 

The pace slowed as the minutes ticked down. The Terps tried to muster up a tying score, but as Luca Costabile’s rebound shot was turned away in the 85th minute so were the Terrapins’ scoring hopes. 

Maryland’s record falls to 1-2-1 on the season. The team will return to Ludwig for its next game against Georgetown Friday night.