The Hokies (11-2-5) earned their first-ever win at the ACC Championships and ended the Terrapins' (10-5-4) 10-match unbeaten streak.
"It's a great thing any time you win a game in the ACC Tournament with a shutout against a ranked opponent," head coach Oliver Weiss said. "The four-versus-five match is traditionally a very tough match, so we're very pleased. I think if you look at our entire season, it may rank up there with one of our best performances."
The Hokies got on the board first at 21:15 when Charlie Campbell played a free kick at midfield that bounced off a crowd of three players and Nason got a shot off from 25 yards out to give Tech a 1-0 lead. The Hokies are now 8-0-2 this season when scoring first.
Maryland's Graham Zusi almost converted a free kick in the first for the Terrapins' tying score at 41:11, but his attempt hit the near post. After Nason's first goal, play was even with each team attempting three shots on goal.
Tech took control of the match 20 minutes into the second half, when junior forward Patrick Nyarko scored his fifth goal of the year after Georg Zehender gained possession at midfield. Zehender then made a cross over to midfield to find a striding Nyarko for his fifth goal of the year at 64:28.
Nason capped the victory at 82:57 when Nyarko dribbled to the corner and beat a pair of defenders before launching a cross to Nason through the box for his second tally of the game and sixth of the season.
"Ben had a huge hand in [the win]," Weiss said. "If he plays well for us, we have a great chance of winning. If he scores a goal, I don't think we can lose. That was the case today. There was no way we were going to lose this game, after about 60 minutes when we scored the second goal."
"It feels great," Nason said. "I've never actually advanced in postseason play since [earning a tie] in the NCAA Tournament during my freshman year, and that still wasn't a win. This win was really big. Everyone contributed and converted on their chances. Overall, it was a really good win."
Tech junior goalkeeper Markus Ainger only faced two shots on goal, but stopped both for his third shutout of the season. Aigner improved to 6-1-5 in goal this season.
"It was important for us to win a game [in the conference tournament] for these seniors, who had been with us for four or four-and-a-half years," Weiss said. "[Nason] has been through these ACC and even BIG EAST Tournaments, and this is our first conference postseason victory. It was a tremendous feat, and it's been a long time coming."
Nason, a second-team all-conference midfielder from Stafford, Va., now has six goals this season for 14 points.
Tech is now 3-1-3 against nationally-ranked opponents and 3-0-0 in neutral venues this year.
"We faced a great team, on a 10-match unbeaten streak," Weiss said. "We deserved the win the woe way, and played excellent defense and scored goals because we had a game plan to absorb their pressure. We didn't want to become unpredictable and wanted to get some scoring opportunities."
The Hokies face top seeded Boston College in the ACC Semifinals at 5:30 p.m. on Friday in Cary, N.C.