Stefan Copetti gained possession at the midway line and passed to Colin Griffith, who quickly one-touched the ball back into Copetti’s path.
With space in front of him, the forward took a heavy touch past a Bowling Green defender and sped towards goal. He slowed to compose himself before launching a strike past Falcons keeper Brendan Graves to score the opening goal.
Copetti, on his senior night, scored his second goal of the year in the 38th minute as Maryland men’s soccer defeated Bowling Green, 1-0.
The Saturday night home victory was the first for the Terps since Aug. 27, ending a seven-game winless streak and a four-game losing streak. Maryland’s defense collected its third clean sheet of the season in the 1-0 win — its first since a 0-0 draw against Wake Forest on Sept. 1.
“It feels great to finally get a win,” coach Sasho Cirovski said, “it’s been a long time … I thought they played with great resolve, great humility and a great effort.”
Bowling Green (5-4-3) had a strong scoring chance in the 17th minute.
Eli Shope raced in behind the Maryland (2-6-2) back line. The forward beat the high line of Maryland but still had to contend with Terps goalkeeper Jamie Lowell.
Lowell rushed off of his line to narrow Shope’s angle of the goal. The Terps’ goalkeeper made himself an imposing figure and got a hand on the shot to keep the game scoreless.
“We also realized that they were very dangerous on the counter. … Our backline stood tall,” Cirovski said.
Soon after, a cross into the box fell at Griffith’s feet. He tried to separate himself from Falcon’s defenders but could not create enough space to produce a shot as Bowling Green cleared.
Griffith got another chance later in the half to generate a goal — he converted that into the strike from Copetti that gave Maryland a 1-0 halftime lead.
“Especially scoring the first goal … [took] a lot of pressure off of us because we’ve been chasing games,” Copetti said. “… Dealing with the lead was much better for us.”
The second half generated few scoring opportunities for either side.
Kimani Stewart-Baynes entered at the start of the second half and immediately generated two shots.
The forward took up space on the left and received the ball in the wide area of the attacking third. He darted inside and sent a curling effort toward goal. The initial chance was blocked but Stewart-Baynes persisted.
He knocked the ball with his head as it re-entered the box, forcing Graves to make the save to keep the margin at one.
Bowling Green came close to evening the score but Lowell, who finished with 3 saves, stopped them in the 66th minute.
The Falcons crossed the ball into the Maryland box. The ball sailed over every defender and to Kyle Blasingame, who’d been left unmarked at the back post and had a free header on goal.
Blasingame headed the ball right at Lowell for the keeper’s first save in the second half.
Bowling Green continued to push for a goal. With just over 10 minutes left, Alberto Anaya received the ball just outside the box and dribbled to its center. His shot, however, blazed over the crossbar.
The Falcons wouldn’t create a better scoring chance inside the last 10 minutes and were held scoreless for the second consecutive game.
“I think we played well. I don’t think we played as good as we can,” Lowell said. “… We didn’t make mistakes. We just stayed locked in for 90 minutes.”