Jamie Lowell played his 24th game in Maryland colors on Saturday night and Stefan Copetti played in his 30th. Both became Terps at different times, but the duo was honored prior to Maryland men’s soccer’s match against Bowling Green on senior night.
The pair entered the pitch before the game with their families and fellow seniors Alex Nitzl, Kento Abe and Seungeon Kim. They exited as key contributors in Maryland’s 1-0 win.
“I think all the seniors that played today had a very good performance,” coach Sasho Cirovski said.
Maryland’s goalkeeper made his mark first in the 17th minute.
Bowling Green gained possession at midfield through midfielder Alberto Anaya. Maryland’s back line got caught high up the pitch, and Eli Shope darted through the center of Mack DeVries and William Kulvik.
Shope ran through on goal all alone, leaving the Terps’ center backs behind. All that stood between him and the opening goal at Ludwig Field was Lowell.
Lowell dashed off of his line and rushed to the penalty spot, closing any opening angles Shope had to slot the ball into the net. The Bowling Green forward shot toward the right post, but Lowell was equal to the shot. He dove the same way, sticking out a hand to ward off the scoring chance.
“The guy just split down the middle. My defenders have my back all the time, so I try and just stay high on my line, have theirs,” Lowell said. “He came up, had to make myself big and he put it at me. So, happy to make the stop.”
Lowell’s heroics kept the match tied, but Copetti changed the scoreline 20 minutes later.
Copetti’s last tally came over one month ago on Sept. 4 in Maryland’s 2-1 loss to Virginia. In the 38th minute, the forward found the back of the net for the second time this season.
He nicked possession in the midfield after a misplaced pass from Bowling Green. Copetti passed to Colin Griffith to quickly launch a counterattack.
Griffith passed back to Copetti in a one-touch motion. Copetti, catching the Falcons defense flat-footed, took a hefty touch as he sprinted toward goal.
“Saw a lot of green grass in front of me, a lot of space, and just took a little look up to see where the keeper was,” Copetti said.
Copetti kept control of the ball on his right foot. After taking multiple touches to settle himself inside the box, Copetti “ripped it front post” past Bowling Green goalie Brendan Graves to give Maryland the lead.
“My time here at Maryland’s coming to an end pretty soon, and just to be able to score in front of [my family] … they’ve done so much for me to get to this point, made a ton of sacrifices, and I’m just so proud and happy that I was able to score in front of them,” Copetti said.
Maryland played the rest of the game with the lead thanks to Copetti’s finish, and one more vital save from Lowell.
Bowling Green, desperate for an equalizing goal, sent a dangerous cross into the box. The ball floated to the back post and Bowling Green midfielder Kyle Blasingame. He headed the ball on frame, forcing Lowell into action.
Blasingame’s header spiraled at Lowell, who caught the ball with both hands and fell to the ground. The keeper’s third save of the contest preserved Maryland’s one-goal win on senior night.
“It feels amazing to get the win, especially a clean sheet, especially going into the last part of our season,” Lowell said.
The Terps enter their final month of the regular season in need of victories to progress into the postseason. Maryland may rely more on its seniors to achieve those desired outcomes.