Maryland Advances To NCAA College Cup With 3-0 Victory Over UCONN

Dec. 7, 2002

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Maryland (20-4) is headed for warmer weather in Dallas, as they advanced to the NCAA Men's College Cup for the first time since 1998 with a 3-0 victory over Connecticut (16-6-1) Saturday at arctic Ludwig Field.

A boisterous crowd of 3,460 saw a gritty second-half Terrapin performance anchored by sophomore forward Domenic Mediate (Southland, Texas) and sophomore keeper Noah Palmer (Williamsburg, Va.).

Mediate continued his strong postseason play with two goals and forced a Connecticut own goal for the game-clincher in the 82nd minute that sent the biggest crowd in Ludwig Field postseason history into a frenzy.

After an action-packed first half that featured strong play from both netminders to keep the game scoreless, Maryland got on the board 14 minutes into the second half as Mediate gathered a long pass from Seth Stammler (Gahanna, Ohio) and fired from 15 yards past a diving Adam Schuerman. It was Mediate's 12th goal of the season and came just 45 seconds after the Huskies' best scoring chance of the half during a scrum in front of the Maryland net.

Maryland had an excellent chance to extend their lead six minutes later, but Erwin Diaz's (Washington, D.C.) 12-yard blast from the right side was brilliantly saved by a fully extended Schuerman to keep the Huskies within reach.

Both teams picked up the physical play in the game's final 20 minutes as the Huskies struggled to score the equalizer.

But, it was Maryland who cinched the game on the own goal as Mediate pressured Connecticut defender Marcus Svensson, whose attempted clearance was deflected back into an open Husky net.

Mediate capped the scoring in the 89th minute as he beat two defenders and slid the ball just over the UConn goal line. Mediate has scored all four of Maryland's postseason goals.

The first 30 minutes of an offensive-minded first half was dominated by the visiting Huskies, as they registered two great scoring chances early. Damani Ralph's strong ninth-minute header was saved by Palmer and Cesar Cuellar's free kick drifted just over the net two minutes later.

The Huskies best chance of the half came in the 19th minute when Leandro de Oliveira's 35-yard rocket hit the outside left post and bounced out of trouble.

Chris Lancos (Middletown, N.J.) provided the Terrapins' best scoring opportunity in the half as his 8-yard shot was saved by a diving Scheurman, who finished with 7 saves.

The Terrapin defense played another strong game, as Palmer held the opponent scoreless for the third consecutive playoff game, also finishing with 7 saves.

As time expired, Maryland fans swarmed the field to celebrate with the semifinal-bound Terps. Maryland will play the winner of tonight's quarterfinal match between UCLA and Penn State on Friday, Dec. 13 at 5 p.m. The game will be televised live on ESPN.