When the referee called the foul in the 72nd minute, Stefan Copetti immediately grabbed the ball.
The senior forward stepped back from the crowd of players and then calmly sat the ball down on the penalty spot, 12 yards from Wake Forest goalie Trace Alphin. As Alphin danced on his goal line, Copetti ran forward.
He placed his shot towards the bottom left corner. But Copetti didn’t hear the whistle of the ball hitting the net — instead he received a joyous Alphin scream. He aimed left, but the keeper dove down and got his fingertips on Copetti’s shot to deny his attempt.
The missed spot kick proved vital Friday, as Maryland men’s soccer drew Wake Forest, 0-0.
“I thought we deserved better, but I can accept a tie as a fair result,” coach Sasho Cirovski said.
Maryland (1-1-1) employed its high press in front of the Ludwig Field crowd, with forward Max Riley leading the line of Terp attack putting constant pressure on the Wake Forest back line.
The Demon Deacons couldn’t handle the Maryland barrage of Terps and constantly gave the ball away to Maryland to ease the pressure.
This led to a period of sustained possession for Maryland, which had the game’s first attempt 20 minutes into the first half. Joe Suchecki received the ball at the top of the semicircle on the box. He took a touch to his left, separating himself from the Wake Forest defender and sailed a shot high over the crossbar.
Then it was Wake Forest’s time to attack.
Roald Mitchell drifted into the penalty area unmarked. He had a clear attempt on Maryland keeper Jamie Lowell as he moved between Kento Abe, who went wide to mark an attacker dribbling the ball toward the end line, and William Kulvik, who was tracking back on defense.
But the Wake Forest (1-0-2) forward dragged his shot wide of Lowell’s left post, keeping the game scoreless.
The Terps and Demon Deacons traded chances in the final moments of the half but neither found the breakthrough as the first half finished 0-0.
“The first half, both teams kind of leveled each other out,” Cirovski said. “And I thought we came out in the second half a little bit on the front foot.”
Neither team put a shot on frame through the first half. Maryland almost changed that 10 minutes into the second.
Riley danced with the ball into the Maryland attacking third, drawing a Wake Forest defender that ultimately fouled him.
Kimani Stewart-Baynes stood over the ensuing free kick and picked out Riley at the near post. But Riley’s glancing header sailed over the bar as the game’s first shot on goal still eluded both teams.
“Start of the second half, that’s where we really started to get the ball, started getting chances and just couldn’t put them away,” Riley said.
The Terps got a similar chance in the 63rd minute.
Stewart-Baynes again looked over a free kick on the right side after Justin Harris was upended by Jahlane Forbes. The freshman whipped in another ball into the center of the box, and this time Bjarne Thiesen rose highest in the area.
Again, Maryland didn’t have the finishing touch, as Thiesen’s header went over the bar.
After Copetti’s missed penalty, Maryland had one more chance to get the winning goal.
Riley received the ball in stride entering Wake Forest’s side of the pitch. The forward advanced down the middle of the field. He picked out Luca Costabile, who made a flying run to join the attack.
With under 30 seconds to play, the fullback had to hurry.
Costabile blazed a long-range shot well over the bar and seconds later, the game ended without either team finding the deciding goal to break the deadlock.