Men's soccer drops regular season finale to Maryland, 2-1
    Hokies to face N.C. State Tuesday in ACC tourney first round
    October 27, 2006

    Box Score Maryland 2, VT 1
     
    COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Junior Ben Nason scored his sixth goal of the season for the No. 25 Hokies with just over 14 minutes remaining in the match, but it was not enough to overcome No. 6 Maryland's two first-half goals as the Virginia Tech men's soccer team dropped its regular season finale Friday night in College Park by a score of 2-1.

    "We know we can do better," head coach Oliver Weiss said of the outcome. "It was too little, too late, but we are excited about our next game."

    The loss gives the Hokies an 11-6-1 (2-5-1 ACC) record, and locks them into next week's ACC Tournament as the No. 8 seed. They will face off against the ninth-seed Wolfpack of N.C. State on Tuesday, Oct. 31 at 1 p.m., a team that they defeated 3-2 in Raleigh back on Oct. 9.

    "It's going to be tough, because they've [N.C. State] got nothing to lose," Weiss said of Tuesday's opening round matchup. "But we've got to add another win to our record to improve our chances at an at-large bid [to the NCAA Tournament]."

    The Terrapins got their two scores in a matter of three minutes midway through the first stanza. Stephen King tapped in his sixth of the season from point-blank range in the goalie box on a cross from Drew Yates in the 25th minute. King then sent a pass to Maurice Edu just inside the 18-yard box for a shot that found the back of the net in the 28th minute.

    "We were flat for about five-to-ten minutes in the first half," Weiss said. "We played extremely well for 75-to-80 minutes, but it was that short stretch when they got their two goals, and that's what it's like when you're playing in this league."

    Virginia Tech turned up the pressure big-time in the second half, attempting 14 shots to Maryland's eight, and six corner kicks to the Terps' two. It paid off in the 76th minute, when Nason converted to give Marcus Reed his eighth assist of the season. Reed lined up for the free kick and delivered it to Nason, giving just enough hesitation to draw the Terrapin defensive wall out of position, allowing the shot to skip past the Maryland keeper.

    "It was the UNC game all over again," Weiss concluded, comparing the loss to the Sept. 29 match against the Tar Heels - one in which the Hokies dominated in shots, corners, attacks and time of possession - but still lost. "Tonight was one of the better games we've played all year."

    Drew Czekanski played the first half in goal for Tech, making three saves, while Brendan Dunn stopped two shots in the second half.

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