Saturday, December 13, 2008

Maryland Soccer Goes to the National Championship!

After Graham Zusi's golden goal off a free kick in double overtime gave Maryland a 1-nil victory over St. John's, the Terps will now head to the championship, looking for their third national title.

Maryland had dominated most of the match, peppering the Red Storm goal with 12 shots alone in the second half, eventually outshooting St. John's 19-3. Neal Kitson was having a solid game in goal for the Red Storm with nine saves, but the constant onslaught proved to be too much.

Maryland once again had a dominating performance, but failed to put it on the scoreboard. However this has been working all tournament, as they have allowed just one goal in their four games and have yet to trail.

The third straight one goal victory for 2-seed Maryland puts them in the championship against 13-seed North Carolina. Though 1-seed Wake Forest dominated most of the game against UNC, the Tar Heels early goal in the first five minutes was enough to win 1-nil over the Deacs. Like they did in the ACC Tournament, Maryland will avoid facing the team that beat them 4-2 in College Park, and instead play a team they have defeated twice.

North Carolina has been huge all tournament, winning all four of their victories by one goal; three of them were 1-nil wins. Maryland will have their eyes on senior forward Brian Shriver, who has 14 goals on the season with five game-winners, including in UNC's upset of Wake Forest. Junior Brooks Haggerty took over recently in goal and has three shutouts in the NCAA Tournament, fending off Wake's 20 shots with seven saves.

Maryland and North Carolina have battled twice this season, with Maryland winning 2-1 in College Park and 1-nil in the ACC Tournament. North Carolina goes for their second men's soccer title to add to their 2001 championship, Maryland goes after their third championship and second in four years. The match will be in Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas on Sunday at 1:00 PM. ESPN2 will televise the game.

(Photo credit: Maryland athletics (Zusi), UNC Athletics (Shriver)

1 comment:

Bill-DC said...

Looks like a good match up for the Terps but beating a team three times is hard in any sport.

I was very surprised Wake went out last night. UNC will be tough on Sunday.

Go Terps! I believe the burgundy and gold play at the same time Sunday but I'm sticking with the Terps. Sorry Redskins.