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Duke at Maryland: College Match Night Commentary

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By AVI CREDITOR

Two Top-10 Atlantic Coast Conference rivals do battle on national television as Duke and Maryland meet in a key conference battle (8 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel).

As usual, this matchup oozes with professional prospects. Duke's sophomore tandem of Ryan Finley and Andrew Wenger are the ones to watch for the guys in blue. Finley leads the country in scoring with eight goals, and Wenger is establishing himself as one of the premier defenders in the country.

Maryland features prospects from front to back, with striker Casey Townsend, midfielder Matt Kassel, defender Ethan White and goalkeeper Zac MacMath all on professional scouts' radars.

I'll be providing live commentary from Ludwig Field in College Park, Md., so please feel free to follow along, either exclusively here or while you watch on FSC, and share any thoughts and opinions in the comments section below. Enjoy the match (commentary after the jump).

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POSTGAME – That's all for me from Ludwig Field tonight. Thanks for following along, and keep checking SBI for your college soccer coverage as the season winds down. Good night everybody!!

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POSTGAME – For Duke, Finley was more dangerous in the first half, and you could tell the frustration wore on him as time ticked down. Wenger was solid in defense, though I'd like to see more of what he could've done in the attack. Sebastien Ibeagha is one to keep an eye on down the road. The freshman did an excellent job in central defense.

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POSTGAME – Kassel's PK and Mullins' volley stand up for the Terps. Very impressive showing for Mullins from the Maryland side of things. MacMath was hardly tested, White was solid, Kassel was good off set pieces but didn't set much up in the run of play, and Townsend and Herrick weren't that involved, though it was Herrick's rebounded shot that Mullins put home.

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POSTGAME – Final score: Maryland 2, Duke 0.

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1:00 – Carolina makes a statement in the ACC tonight, moving to 4-0 in conference. Maryland will leapfrog Duke and UVA into third behind Wake Forest with a 2-1-1 record in conference play.

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1:50 – 7,260 announced attendance. Great atmosphere tonight.

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4:10 – Townsend is back and seems to be fine after limping off earlier.

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4:50 – Rumblings of the largest home attendance in Maryland soccer history. We'll have a number in a moment.

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6:34 – Finley sends an 18 1/2-yard free kick soaring over everything after draw a soft foul. Frustrating night for the star sophomore.

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9:35 – Finley tries to do too much on his own, can't get by a third defender. Can't blame him for trying to do it all on his own though, he's not getting much help.

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11:10 – Finley strikes from distance, forcing a diving save by MacMath….after he was whistled offside. You can see the frustration on Finley's face right now. Hasn't had much go in his direction this half.

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11:48 – Stout defending by Torres with Molinar looking dangerous in the box. Maryland's man-on-man defending has been impressive tonight.

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12:58 – Good lord what a shot by Mullins!! Had all the time in the world on the left, but from an awful angle he hit the inside of the far post, and somehow didn't have it bounce his way. Wow.

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13:58 – White meets Wenger with a perfectly timed challenge on the right edge of the box and wins a goal kick for Maryland. Well done.

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15:00 – Kassel sends a teasing cross just across the goal mouth, but nobody pounces on it. Nice service from the left.

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15:44 – Oduaran just misses wide left! He's been an active sub off the bench for Sasho Cirovski tonight.

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16:44 – That certainly looked like a handball on Molinar. There's a makeup call for the PK.

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18:00 – Chris Tweed-Kent is back, replacing brother Daniel Tweed-Kent.

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19:21 – Rodkey returns, replacing Billy Cortes.

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20:16 – Questionable yellow given to Ibeagha, and then another to the Duke bench. Ibeagha bumped Townsend after the ball went out and Townsend is forced to limp off. Oduaran will replace him. Last thing Maryland wants to see is another Townsend injury – he missed most of last year because of various ailments.

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23:30 – Mullins dispossesses Molinar and sends the Terps going the other way. Very impressive showing by Mullins tonight in multiple facets.

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25:09 – Grossman tries to fire up the troops after a Wenger shot goes wide. Wenger has shifted into the midfield.

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26:12 – Torres and Mullins return for Rodkey and Forbess.

Molinar comes back for Chris Tweed-Kent

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26:59 – Townsend runs onto a long Kassel pass and earns a corner off Matthew Thomas. Too much long-ball play for my liking tonight. 

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30:00 – Kassel with the right idea trying to slot a pass through the middle, but Townsend doesn't make the run to the spot. Not on the same page there.

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31:15 – White fends off pressure from Finley and calmly turns and plays back to MacMath. Good composure shown by White.

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32:52 – Grossman's now playing more forward, almost in tandem with Finley, as opposed to Finley being the lone striker. Duke coach John Kerr needs another formula, although Finley was getting chances while playing alone up top. 

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36:28 – Daniel Tweed-Kent replaces Molinar for Duke.

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37:50 – Townsend gets around Wenger after getting to a long ball, but his grounder of a shot is easily gobbled up by Belshaw. Five saves tonight for the sophomore keeper.

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38:20 – Belshaw does well under pressure to calmly catch a lofted header by Townsend. Kassel's bending free kick from the left found Townsend by the far post, and his header to the center of the area was caught by the keeper.

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39:40 – Gorgeous cross from Taylor Kemp into the center of the area, but Townsend's jump is off, and he can't connect on what would have been a clean header on goal.

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40:42 – Grossman skies a 28-yard free kick over the crossbar. MacMath yet to really be tested.

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42:59 – Dangerous cross by Molinar, but nobody's there to capitalize for Duke.

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44:35 – Elsewhere in the ACC: UNC knocks off UVA in Charlottesville, Virginia. That's a nice win for the Tar Heels in a No. 2 vs No. 4 matchup.

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45:00 – I don't get why they don't just start the game with 90:00 on the clock. Stop it at 45:00 for halftime. At least that's a compromise.

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SECOND HALF

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HALFTIME – Poll time: American soccer fans tend to gripe about the college game, with reasons ranging from "It's difficult to watch" to "Why are there different rules than in the international game?" The question for you is:

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HALFTIME – As for Maryland, Kassel hasn't a whole lot of chances to show off his distribution, but he delivered a very confident strike on the PK.

Townsend and Herrick have been active but haven't had many opportunities on goal, and White has been decent in defense. Mullins' finish was top-class.

MacMath hasn't had to make any saves, but he's playing an aggressive game in the box. His decision to come out on Finley played a part in causing the misfire.

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HALFTIME – Who has impressed in the first half? Finley obviously showed how dangerous he can be, but his finishing has to be better. You can excuse the miss on the sitter, because I'm not so sure he was expecting the ball to get through to him. As for the 1-v-1 miss, he had more time to settle and strike a better shot.

Wenger has played well at centerback, the penalty call notwithstanding. He has a calm presence on the ball and under pressure.

Ibeagha looked sharp at the other centerback spot for Duke.

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0:00 – That's the end of the first half. Maryland 2, Duke 0.

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1:11 – Those two late goals are deflaters for Duke. If Finley keeps getting more chances he'll be able to help the Blue Devils chip away. 

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3:45 – Maryland had three shots on the possession before a rebound fell to Mullins, and the freshman hit the sweet spot on the volley, putting a laser into the back of the net. Impressive finish.

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3:53GOAL MARYLAND!! MULLINS BURIES A REBOUND! 2-0

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4:51 – Jonathan Aguirre swings, misses and catches Oduaran. Dangerous free kick try for Maryland.

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6:08 – Diving stop by Belshaw! Torres set it up with a nice run to the middle, slotting a pass for Oduaran, who turned and fired.

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6:45 – Clean, hard challenge by White to dispossess Donovan in the open field.

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7:14 – William Donovan replaces Rob Dolot for Duke.

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8:49 – Paul Torres replaces Billy Cortes.

Mullins with a great piece of possession for Maryland, dribbling along the back line and finding his way into the box, where the subsequent shot went wide left. Mullins, a freshman, really impressed during the spring.

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9:45 – Pacey run by Temi Molinar as he knifed through the Maryland defense, making White slide and miss in the process. The defense had plenty of cover though.

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10:45 – Soft PK call in my opinion. Didn't look like Wenger did much to warrant the foul call. Looked like a tentative call by the referee, too.

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11:05Kassel nails the PK inside the right post! Maryland 1, Duke 0

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11:43 – Penalty! Herrick gets taken down in the area by Wenger!

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13:12 – Townsend whips a header high! Nice service from Woodberry, and Townsend was inches over the bar.

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14:52 – Disciplined defending by Woodberry to hold his ground with Christopher Tweed-Kent running right at him.

Matt Oduaran comes on for Karou Forbess for Maryland.

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15:49 – First substitution of the game: Patrick Mullins replaces Rodkey for Maryland.

Rodkey can return in the second half. No limit to subs in the college game.

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16:43 – Townsend sees a yellow after a foul on Ibeagha.

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17:30 – Finley had the defense beaten again, but he's offside.

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18:10 – Rodkey tests Belshaw from distance, but the keeper makes a clean catch.

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18:45 – Nice clearance from Wenger, who looks confident in possession deep in his own area. Him and his centerback partner, Sebastien Ibeagha look sharp tonight. Ibeagha's just a freshman.

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19:40 – MacMath comes way out to beat Finley to another long ball. He's not taking any more chances.

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23:22 – Kassel's 28-yard free kick gets deflected by the wall out for a corner. Belshaw comes out aggressively to punch away the corner but took a licking after the collision. No foul called but the keeper will get a chance to compose himself.

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24:28 – Finley shanks a 1-v-1 opportunity with MacMath! Beautiful through ball by Grossman, but Finley pushes the shot wide of the right post.

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25:43 – Finley goes one-on-one right at Alex Lee, but the right centerback keeps his poise and shuts the striker down. Active first 20 minutes for Finley.

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27:23 – Cole Grossman goes just wide left! A diving MacMath had the post covered. That's two great chances out of the blue for Duke.

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28:40 – Wenger does well to cut off Forbess, after a long ball from Rodkey straight down the middle of the pitch had the junior seemingly in on goal. Great, calm recovery by Wenger.

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30:04 – Maryland keeping most of the action to the right part of the field, having Woodberry and Rodkey trying to set up Herrick and Townsend from the flank. Duke yet to really find any continuity offensively.

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31:18 – Rodkey beautifully plays a ball off the outside of his foot but it's weighted too heavily and Belshaw beat's Townsend to the spot. Nice idea by Rodkey. 

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34:10 – Wenger cuts off a pass from Woodberry to Herrick. He'll be tested by a pretty potent strikeforce as well.

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35:50 – Finley misses a sitter! The ball snuck through to him by the far post and all he needed was to tap it in at the goal mouth. Instead, he didn't get a clean touch on it and sent it wide left.

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36:45 – White wins a footrace against Finley to a long ball. The U.S. U-20 centerback will be tested tonight.

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37:19 – Finley with back-to-back corner kicks; MacMath catches the second one easily and pushes the action the other way.

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38:51 – Townsend flicks a header on frame after a deflected cross from Rodkey on the right, but it's no problem for Belshaw in goal.

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41:07 – Fun fact of the match: This is Doug Rodkey's SIXTH year at Maryland. No, he's not on the Van Wilder plan. He's received two medical redshirt years from the NCAA. Quite the story, actually.

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42:34 – Finley offside, but it's clear what Duke's gameplan is from the onset, and for good reason. Finley leads the country not only in goals but in shots per game (7.12).

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43:16 – Maryland's shouts for a handball in the box go unheard.

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44:07 – Duke with a couple of long balls right at MacMath. No chance for Finley to run onto anything though.

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44:45 – Kassel down on the pitch after an early collision. He'll try to walk this off.

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45:00 – Duke will get things started moving right to left wearing the all blue jerseys. Maryland moving left to right in the all whites.

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PREGAME – Packed house and a boisterous crowd at Ludwig Field tonight. Great college soccer atmosphere.

We'll have to adjust with our typical live commentary format to comply with college rules. Clock will start at 45:00 and count down.

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PREGAME – Maryland enters tonight ranked eighth in the country in the latest NSCAA Top 25 poll. Duke is ninth. Both teams could use a win to make some headway in the ACC standings.

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PREGAME – Maryland is celebrating the 1,000th match in program history….even though tonight is match No. 1,002. The Terrapins defeated George Mason, 2-0, back on Sept. 21 in the actual 1,000th match.

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PREGAME – Here are the lineups for tonight's game:

DUKE

——————————-Finley————————–

–Molinar–Grossman–Dolot–Aguirre–C. Tweed-Kent–

–Thomas———-Ibeagha———-Wenger———-Sih–

—————————-Belshaw————————–

MARYLAND

————Herrick——-Townsend———–

–Rodkey—–Kassel—–Forbess—–Cortes–

—-Kemp—–White—-Lee—-Woodberry—-

———————MacMath——————

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