The Maryland men’s soccer team can now call itself elite, as it defeated No. 6-seed Duke, 2-0, to reach the Elite Eight. The No. 11-seeded Terps (10-6-4) upset the Blue Devils (11-7-2), on the road Saturday night and will face No. 3-seed Kentucky in the NCAA Quarterfinals, their first appearance since 2015.
The Terps earned a goal from a freshman and a senior— William James Herve scored midway through the first half on an impressive volley, and Amar Sejdic capitalized on a Duke turnover in the 60th minute— to defeat the Blue Devils despite being outshot 16-8.
Maryland led where it counted, though, on the scoreboard and in efficiency, scoring two goals on five shots on goal. Maryland’s defense fought off a relentless Duke attack, and redshirt junior goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair tallied a season-high eight saves.
In the 24th minute, Herve sprinted into the box as junior attacker Paul Bin streaked down the right side of the field, and when Bin’s cross soared in, Herve scissor-kicked a volley to the bottom left corner of the net while in the air to put the Terps up 1-0.
Despite Duke controlling the ball for most of the second half, Maryland took a 2-0 lead in the 60th minute when Sejdic scored on a Duke turnover deep in their territory. Sejdic’s second tournament goal came once again on a goalkeeper’s failed clear attempt, having scored the Terps’ first goal against NC State in the second-round match.
Duke had a near-goal in the first five minutes of the game, as St. Clair couldn’t control a shot from sophomore forward Daniel Wright at first when it bounced up off his chest. Though the Blue Devils seemed to be in control at the start of the first half, it was the Terps that got on the board.
Maryland earned their 1-0 lead on Herve’s fourth goal of the season went on to control possession in the coming minutes.
The Terps nearly made the score 2-0 in the 33rd minute on a Sejdic shot inside the box, had it not been for a sliding save, essentially a goal line save, from Duke defender Brandon Williamson.
Duke freshman forward Issa Rayyan, who has six goals on the season, had a chance to make it 1-1 in the final minutes of the half, just missing a touch on a long ball played into the box before St. Clair came off his line to scoop it up.
Duke led in shots at the half, 6-4, including two from Duke’s leading scorer, junior midfielder Daniele Proch. Though Duke boasts 17 first-half goals all season, it was Maryland that captured the first-half score, just as it did in its 2-0 win over NC State in the second round of the tournament.
From the start of the second half, it was all Duke, and with a new sense of urgency from the Blue Devils to find the equalizer.
As if one wasn’t enough drama, the game had another goal line save in the 52nd minute, as Proch took a close-range shot that was blocked not by St. Clair or Bergmann behind him, but his own teammate, sophomore midfielder Kristofer Garoarsson.
Duke was dominating possession in the Terps’ defensive third, and Maryland had no shots in the second half until the 60th minute.
The Blue Devils had a costly turnover following a Will Pulisic goal kick, and Sejdic was there to slot in his seventh goal of the season and give the Terps a two-goal lead.
Though they did not produce much more offense in the remaining moments of the second half, the Terps defense held strong until the end, with help from St. Clair, who came up with key saves down the home stretch to record his 10th shutout of the season.
With this upset, the Terps have won their last four Sweet 16 matches and improve to 48-23-3 all-time against the Blue Devils.
Maryland will play No. 3-seed Kentucky in the quarterfinals, after the Wildcats (19-1-1) defeated Lipscomb 2-1 in the third round Saturday night.
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