COLLEGE PARK -- With the Atlantic Coast Conference title likely at stake, the Maryland men's soccer team played a frustrating first half against Virginia last night, failing to capitalize on numerous scoring opportunities.
But with less than two minutes to play in the half, freshman forward Robbie Rogers one-timed a pass from sophomore midfielder Maurice Edu into the net.
Rogers' goal excited the large home crowd and deflated the Cavaliers, sparking the Terps to a critical 3-0 victory at Ludwig Field.
The win propels Maryland (11-3, 5-1 ACC) into a first-place tie in the conference with Virginia (10-2-2), with two ACC games remaining for each team.
"It gives us a chance to contend for the conference," Maryland coach Sasho Cirovski said. "I thought you saw a connected [Terps] team out there today."
A loss would have essentially ended Maryland's conference title hopes.
Despite controlling play and often carrying the ball deep into Virginia's end, the Terps were still tied until Edu sent a cross right through the Virginia goalie box. Rogers redirected it into the lower right corner of the net, sending the crowd behind Virginia goaltender Ryan Burke into a frenzy.
Rogers' goal also gave the Terps momentum heading into the second half, Cirovski said, and the goal seemed to knock Virginia off of its game.
In the 64th minute, Maryland took advantage. Junior midfielder A.J. Godbolt sent a pass ahead for Stephen King. The sophomore midfielder beat Burke with a low shot, giving Maryland a commanding 2-0 lead.
Senior forward Jason Garey later scored for the Terps, giving him 14 goals on the season, tops in the ACC. He has scored in six consecutive games.
Virginia's best chance to score came in the 61st minute. Trailing 1-0, the Cavaliers missed headers on two solid crosses in front of Maryland goalie Chris Seitz. The latter attempt just sailed over the net.