Edu's header powers No. 3 Terps past Duke

Maryland 1 Duke 0

College soccer

September 30, 2006|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Sun reporter

College Park -- No. 3 Maryland rewarded a record crowd of 6,489 at Ludwig Field with a 1-0 victory over No. 14 Duke last night, as a first-half header from junior midfielder Maurice Edu held up for the defending NCAA champions.

The Blue Devils are normally a hot ticket only during basketball season, but a Terps program that was dormant when coach Sasho Cirovski arrived 13 years ago has become a top draw in college soccer.

Maryland's only loss, at No. 2 Clemson three weeks ago, attracted nearly 7,000 spectators. Last night's gathering eclipsed the 6,203 who showed for Indiana last October, and they saw the Terps run their unbeaten streak at Ludwig to 27 matches.

"It's fabulous," Cirovski said. "Coming into the stadium an hour and a half before the game and seeing all our students, the victory was in hand before we kicked off. The performance on the field was icing on the cake."

Cirovski got the game onto the Fox Soccer Channel. There were fireworks during the national anthem and the Terps' introductions, but all that atmosphere would be contrived without the caliber of athletes who have taken Maryland to the past four NCAA semifinals.

The Terps (10-1, 3-1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference) converted a gorgeous set piece in the 14th minute, when Edu, a Californian who's considered one of the nation's premier defensive midfielders, carried down the left side and created a corner kick.

Graham Zusi, a sophomore from Longwood, Fla., who is Soccer America's Player of the Week, took the restart. While a bunch of Blue Devils were preoccupied with freshman Omar Gonzalez - a huge target on corners at 6-5, 200 - the Maryland center back feinted toward the near post, then drifted back toward the 18-yard line. That forged an opening for Edu, who went up relatively unmarked 8 yards out and snapped his header past goalie Justin Papadakis, inside the right post.

Duke (7-2-1, 2-1-1), which won the ACC tournament last year, got eight of its 11 shots in the second half.

paul.mcmullen@baltsun.com

Duke 0 0 - 0

Maryland 1 0 - 1

Goal: M-Edu. Assist: M-Zusi. Saves: D-Papadakis 4, M-Seitz 3. A-6,489.

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