Maryland beat Virginia 22-6 in a physical encounter to move to 3-0 in the Atlantic Coast Saturday. The Terps led 15-6 at halftime and added a converted try after intermission.
For the second week in a row, Virginia pestered an undefeated ACRL team at the breakdown, causing the Terrapins to play slower game than they prefer. Last week the Cavaliers hounded Clemson.
“UVA had a couple of things that they did well against us,” said Maryland coach Jeff Soeken. “They challenged our scrumhalf a bit. They were all over the ball on the ground, and that sort of slowed stuff down for us, and it wasn’t being penalized, so I think frustration got the better of some players on our side, at least.”
Maryland lock Steve Shumsky took the law into his own hands at the breakdown and was rewarded with a yellow card. Outside of the sin bin, Soeken was pleased with the play of his big man.
“He had a really good game,” said the Maryland coach. “He was good under high ball. I think we stole three or four of the Virginia lineouts just having him in the lineup, and he assisted on one score and then scored another. He was very active.”
The win puts Maryland just one hurdle, an expected win over Wake Forest next week, from a monumental clash with Clemson. The Tigers have to face a tough Virginia Tech team next Friday, but the Oct. 26 game between Clemson and Maryland should serve as the de facto ACRL championship game whether Tigers beat the Hokies or not.
“We’ve got this game with Clemson in two weeks and this was the test to get through so that we can stay undefeated and make that the deciding game of the league, so it should be a good deal,” Soeken said.
The Terps will be hosting the Tigers in the Maryland soccer stadium on homecoming weekend, which should add to the atmosphere of what looks to be a big game.