The Maryland-Lehigh match tonight was certainly entertaining, but also implausible. Lehigh has dropped games so far this season to Presbyterian and Farleigh Dickinson, and was statistically dominated tonight -- Maryland had 15 corner kicks to Lehigh's 3; the Terps had 24 shots on goal, Lehigh had 7, Lehigh committed 14 fouls and Maryland 6, Lehigh was issued 4 yellow cards and a straight red (all deserved), and Lehigh's keeper Jonathan Nydell made seven saves (including parrying a Jeremy Hall penalty kick) while Zach Macmath made 1. And yet, with 84 minutes played in the game, Lehigh led by a goal. A rocket low shot taken at least ten yards beyond the goal box off the foot of Omar Gonzalez deflected off of a Lehigh defender and into the back of the goal. After that ridiculous goal, Lehigh was beaten and the inevitable was confirmed seven minutes into extra time when a nifty back heel in the box from Jeremy Hall was hammered home by Casey Townsend.
The Terps have to find some way to convert their opportunities within the box. Townsend has 8 goals on the season, but Jason Herrick has only added another two... and Hall seems to be the only other major threat to score until Omar Gonzalez is allowed to venture forward. Beyond the frustration with Maryland's inability to score, the most notable event of the evening was watching diminutive Lehigh defender Jordie Ciuffetelli knock down Rodney Wallace in the box, Wallace seek to make a meal of the light foul and go to ground, and Ciuffetelli standing over Wallace exhorting him to "get the f))k up!" Game was a wee bit chippy.
One other quick note: I was saddened to read in the Chicago Tribune the news of former Cubs' pitcher Kevin Foster's death from renal cell carcinoma. Foster pitched for the Cubs while I was in college in Iowa and spent a little time with Iowa Cubs in AAA during my tenure at school. I cannot vouch for Foster's character and have no knowledge about his life off the field, but his performance on the mound as a Cubs pitcher made me proud to be a Cubs fan. Foster started 82 games for some pretty weak Cubs' teams and managed a 32 and 28 record. He was a solid back of the rotation performer who did everything he was asked. And he passed away way too early.