Saturday, December 6, 2008

Maryland soccer faces Creighton in the NCAA Quarterfinals

Its been a while since we checked on the soccer scene. Maryland's 2-1 win over California has advanced the Terps to the quarterfinals for the first time since winning the national championship in 2005. Loyola however fell 2-1 to the surging UNC Greensburo, ending their season by losing their last two games after a perfect regular season.

For Maryland, 7-seed Creighton travels to Ludwig Field on Saturday at 1:00 PM. The winner will be the first team that heads to Frisco for the Final Four.

Maryland has played very solid soccer and has won their last 13 contests after naming Zac MacMath the starting goalkeeper. In only two of those games has Maryland scored more than two goals, so credit to their victories goes to MacMath and the dominating backline with Omar Gonzalez and A.J. Delagarza. Maryland often scores a goal very quick in games then controls the midfield to win.

Sasho Cirovski has done a great job leading this team this far. Getting freshmen Casey Townsend, Matt Kassel, and Zac MacMath to be integral parts of an experienced team plus bringing back Jason Herrick and moving Graham Zusi to midfield after three years as a forward has been great for this team.

This contest will be the hardest one yet for Maryland. Creighton, champion of the Missouri Valley Conference, has only lost one game, back on September 13th. Last year's MVC champion, Bradley, knocked Maryland out of the NCAA Tournament in the round of 16. Creighton did not have the hardest of schedules, but they did defeat California on the road and have won two close contests in the NCAA.

The Creighton Bluejays are an aggressive team, with 37 yellow cards on the year, Greg Jordan accounting for nine of them. Senior midfielder Andrei Gotsmanov, a St. John's transfer, is their leading scorer with 10 goals, also amassing six yellow cards on the year. In goal is redshirt freshman Brian Holt, and despite that he is only 5'8'', he has only allowed 0.49 goals per game, including 12 shutouts.

This will be a difficult matchup for the Terps, but a victory here will send them to Texas for the Final Four. You can listen in to the game on WMUC at

(Photo credits: Maryland athletics (Gonzalez), ESPN soccer (Cirovski), Creighton athletics (Gotsmanov))

1 comment:

Bill-DC said...

Great atmosphere at Ludwig today. Terps should have put three or four in as they dominated the game.

The Terps are final four bound and if everyone stays, will be even stronger next season.

Work to be done though. Wake plays UNC and Maryland plays St. Johns. Wake won their last two games by 12-0 aggregate. They scare me and as much as I love the Terps, Wake looks like a good bet to repeat.

(I stink at handicapping so I hope I jinxed Wake Forest)