Nov. 9, 2012
GERMANTOWN, Md. - Top-seeded Maryland survived a sluggish first half to defeat fourth-seeded Clemson 2-1 in double overtime Friday in the semifinals of the 2012 ACC Men's Soccer Championship.
Patrick Mullins evened the match at 1-1 with his league-leading 13th goal of the year in the 84th minute before the Terps, after outshooting Clemson 10-5 following a trying first stanza, benefited from an own goal after a corner kick from Helge Leikvang in the 103rd minute.
Following an early first-half goal by Clemson, a team Maryland (16-1-2) tied two weeks ago, the Terps answered with a spirited second-half performance, capped by a goal from Mullins, the newly-minted ACC Offensive Player of the Year.
The Terps continued to apply pressure to the Clemson backline through the first overtime period and into the second before Leikvang's corner glazed by Pace and ricocheted off a Clemson player's back into the net for the win.
"I'm really proud of our team that we found a way to get the result in this game. That was arguably our worst first half in a high quality game all year," head coach Sasho Cirovski, who earned his 300th win at Maryland Friday night, said. "However, I believe in this team and we made some adjustments and the players rose to a high level. I thought we played very well in the second half and were more aggressive and our skill level was higher and we felt very confident that we were going to get not only the tying goal but the winning goal and we just continued to persevere through the overtime.
"I have to give Clemson a tremendous amount of credit. They battled us and pushed us twice now."
Maryland, which seeks its third tournament crown in last five seasons, faces a familiar foe when it battles No. 2 seed North Carolina in the finals Sunday. The match is set for noon at the Maryland SoccerPlex and will be shown live on ESPNU. The Terps defeated the Tar Heels 1-0 to win their last conference title in 2010.