Kirk's 2 stops help save 2-0 win for No. 4 Terps Beach, Cropley goals make UM 1-4-1 vs. Mason

October 09, 1997|By Gary Davidson | Gary Davidson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

FAIRFAX, Va. -- Maryland midfielder Keith Beach was trying to drill his shot, but he was perfectly content to watch his game-winner trickle into the net.

Beach scored in the 68th minute and Jason Cropley added an insurance goal 10 minutes later to give the fourth-ranked Terps a 2-0 nonconference win over host George Mason yesterday.

Goalkeeper Andy Kirk was called on for only two saves, but both were crucial as the Terps (8-1-1) won their third straight in beating GMU (7-4-1) for the first time in six tries (1-4-1).

Shortly after Kirk made his stops, R. T. Moore took a pass from fellow defender Leo Cullen 35 yards out and lofted a pass into the right side of the penalty area. Beach volleyed the ball from knee level under goalkeeper Paul Marcoullier from eight yards into the right corner of the net.

"R. T. sent a good ball across and I just got my foot to it just before the keeper got to it," Beach said. "I didn't hit it too well and I got a little lucky on it."

I saw it bounce right next to him so I thought it was pretty much in after I touched it. So I think it was probably better I didn't hit it as well as I could have. If I touched it well, it probably would have hit him in the chest. If it goes in the back of the net, it's a good strike."

Initiating the improvised combination, Moore had not passed intentionally to Beach, but rather to the general vicinity.

"I was looking maybe for a shot, but I thought it was a little too far," Moore said. "I knew if I just put it up in the air, someone was going to finish it."

With the match scoreless in the 54th minute, Patriots striker Kieran Farragher kicked an 18-yarder toward the right corner that Kirk snared with a quick dive to his left.

"If that goal goes in, we have a chance at winning the game," Farragher said. "I had a go, hit it well and the keeper makes a great save. When you're playing the No. 4 team, those have to go in and it's difficult when they don't."

Four minutes later, midfielder Scott Thelen maneuvered trough three Maryland defenders before kicking a hard shot from the top of the box that Kirk denied.

Cropley's goal was a gift, courtesy of Steve Armas who took a pass from Jason Sardis in the right side of the box and shot just as he collided with Marcoullier. The ball squirted out, bounced once off the crossbar to a wide-open Cropley four yards from empty net.

Pub Date: 10/09/97

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