Maryland Rolls Past St. John's

Sept. 10, 2004

By Robert Ziegler

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The Maryland Terrapins waited nine months to play St. John's after the Red Storm eliminated the Terps from the NCAA Tournament, but waited only 58 seconds into the match to tally the score as No. 3 Maryland rolled to an impressive 5-2 win over second-ranked St. John's Friday night at Ludwig Field. Jason Garey tallied the first hat trick of his career, Abe Thompson added a pair of goals and A.J. Godbolt had three assists to pace the Terp offense.

A crowd of 3,332, the fourth-largest crowd in Ludwig Field, watched as the Terrapins scored more than four goals against St. John's team for the first time since October, 1984, when Iona defeated the Red Storm 6-0.

"I didn't have to do a lot of inspiring this week. This was a focused group that has been looking forward to playing this game for a while," head coach Sasho Cirovski said. "It was an inspired performance with two forwards combine the way Abe and Jason combined today. We met the challenge and did all the things necessary to be a great team."

Cirovski said the style of the match, with 36 shots on goal and tons of chances both ways, is ideal.

"This is the way the game should be played," he said. "36 shots, 7 goals, only 25 fouls. There were two teams to playing good, attacking soccer. This was a joy. This is the environment I want to see in the Final Four. Environment, people into the game and great soccer. This is where we must take college soccer and I'm proud that we're doing it at our place."

St. Johns (2-1) began the match in a 4-5-1 with Matt Groenwald the lone forward and Maryland started in a 4-4-2, with four across in the midfield.

It took lesss than a minute for Maryland to earn a dream start. A.J. Godbolt won a ball at midfield, ran at the Red Storm defense and sent a pass to Thompson whose quick touch put Garey through on goal and the junior striker buried the chance in the back of the net for a 1-0 Terrapin lead.

St. Johns quickly worked for an equalizer, but Patrik Engstrom's dangerous cross in the 5th minute was well cleared by Maryland freshman Eric Brunner.

In the 12th minute, Engstrom put a header from a corner over the bar, and Groenwald fired a long range shot that Noah Palmer had to scamper to gather. Bill Hole's pass down the wing put Andre Schmid in good position, but the subsequent cross ended the move for the Red Storm.

Maryland nearly made it 2-0 in the 14th minute when an exquisite cross from Stephen King found Thompson, whose glancing header went just wide of the near post. A few minutes later a Thompson back heel created havoc in the St. Johns box before Sam Matthews cleared the danger.

The reprieve was only temporary after Chris Lancos sent over a cross, that was chested down by Domenic Mediate, straight to Thompson who drilled a rocket past St. Johns keeper Bill Gaudette to make it 2-0 in the 17th minute.

St. Johns coach Dave Masur put Ashley Kozicki on in a bid to generate offense, but it was Maryland who found the net within a minute of the switch, when Gaudette's attempted clearance from wide of the net was deflected by Gearey, leaving Thompson Thompson only to blast into the open net for a 3-0 Terp lead in the 22nd minute.

The Terps missed two chances to make it FOUR within a minute of the third, with Gaudette saving well from a Mediate drive, and Thompson blasting well over after being set up again by Godbolt.

A steal by Gotsmanov led to a 1 on 1 for Groenwald in theMaryland box, but freshman defender Eric Brunner tackled well to end the threat.

St. Johns showed signs of life, however, as Schmid flicked on a goal kick and Groenwald displayed a tremendous piece of skill to flick the ball past Maryland defender Chris Lancos, raced to the ball and beat Palmer with a clinical finish to make it 3-1 at 25 minutes.

Thompson had a header on goal in the 32nd minute from a Bertz throw in, but Gaudette was alert to grab the ball. On the other end Schmid won a ball in the box and sent in a cross but Lancos cleared the danger.

St. Johns threatened early in the second half, with Ashley Kozicki whipping a cross into the middle that Jason Arnold cleared, but only after Andre Schmid had missed a chance at a header.

But by the 51st minute it was more of the same for Maryland as Mediate put in a terrific bit of work on the left, beating two defenders before setting up Jason Garey for his second goal of the night and a 4-1 lead.

Stephen King and Garey conspired to give Godbolt an easy chance in the 57th minute, but the hard-working winger put it wide.

St. Johns' hard work paid off in the 60th minute when Kozicki played the ball into the box for Schmid, whose back was to the goal. The Californian won a one-on-one situation near the goal and fired it for the score to cut the lead to 4-2.

Spectators didn't have time to formulate thoughts on whether the Red Storm might get back into the game, before Garey got his hat trick, doing some great work in the right before firing home, the assist coming from Godbolt to make it 5-2.

Garey should have made it four after ghosting in on the right a minute later to get on the end of a Thompson cross, which he put wide. Another chance for Garey's fourth came on a poor back header from St. Johns, which Garey got to and headed over Gaudette but also over the bar.

Another Maryland chance came within inches of crossing the line, when King, Geary and Thompson worked together to set up Godbolt, but Jeff Carroll headed off the line for St. Johns.

Erwin Diaz set up Mediate for a breakaway in the closing minutes, but substitute goalkeeper Jason Landers came off his line well to force Mediate's chip wide.

St. Johns coach Dave Masur said while his back line had difficulty, the blame for the loss goes around.

"Thompson, Garey and Domenic caused trouble all night, but we caused some trouble for ourselves," Masur said. "If you look at the game it could have been 9-5 and it showed we had some Achilles heels and some hiccups in the back with some of our younger players. That kind of un-did us, but in fairness to them some of those chances came from missed balls in the midfield and up front. What's going to be key to improve and be more solid and not give away as many chances as we gave away tonight."

Godbolt admitted he was surprised at the amount of space he and Mediate had to run on the outside.

"They put on high pressure just like we do and I think our pressure got to them," Godbolt said. "It put them on their heels early on and with the atmosphere it got real easy. It just opened up."

Garey said he and Thompson have developed a good understanding up front, and quickly.

"It was magical. I've never been able to play much with Abe and we're already clicking," Garey said. "We know each other pretty well now and it's magical to watch."

The Maryland/adidas Classic will continue on Sunday, Sept. 12, with another doubleheader. The first game will feature No. 14 Penn State against No. 2 St. John's at noon, while the Terrapins will face Georgetown.

Penn State 3, Georgetown 2 (2OT)
By Bob Volkert, Penn State Media Relations

  • Box Score

    Senior Chad Severs scored one minute, 57 seconds into the second overtime to give the 14th-ranked Penn State men's soccer team a dramatic 3-2 victory over Georgetown Friday night to kick off the Maryland/adidas Classic. Severs' goal was his second of the game and second of the season.

    Sophomore Simon Omekanda, with one goal and two assists, had a hand in all three Nittany Lion goals. Penn State (1-0-2) will battle No. 2 St. John's 12 p.m. Sunday to wrap up its tournament.

    The Nittany Lions victory marks the first time they have been unbeaten in their first three games since the 2000 season. "We deserved the win," said Penn State head coach Barry Gorman. "We played well enough to win, but we need to finish our chances earlier and be stringier on defense." Severs hit Omekanda on a give-and-go and Omekanda fed him for the game-winner from about five yards out.

    Georgetown started the scoring off of a defensive breakdown by the Nittany Lions at 9:06. Trevor Goodrich sent a long pass across the field where Daniel Grasso picked it up and centered to a hard-charging Ricky Schramm, who beat a defenseless Conrad Taylor.

    Severs scored his first goal of the year, and tied the game, at the 25:39 mark. Simon Omekanda tried to center a pass, but it was deflected by a defender and hit off a goal post. Freshman Richard Costanzo touched to Severs, who scored off a diving slide kick at the far post.

    Omekanda nearly gave Penn State the lead late in the first half. Sophomore Brian Tully fed a long pass to him near the box. Omekanda beat his defender and took a point-blank shot from about 17 yards out, but Andrew Keszler was able to smother it. Omekanda was able to capitalize on his next chance to give the Nittany Lions the lead off a hard shot early in the second half. Junior Mike Lindemann touched a pass to him in the corner of the box and Omekanda beat Keszler between the legs on a hard shot to make it 2-1 Penn State at 49:49.

    However, the Hoyas tied it back up when Brent Plumley hit Grasso with a centering pass at the far corner of the net. Grasso's goal came at 66:17 to make it 2-2.

    A flurry of Penn State chances dominated the final 23 minutes of regulation. Keszler came out of the net to cut off a chance by Severs on a breakaway at 69:01. Omekanda went just wide off the wrong foot on an empty net 2:30 later, Keszler made a diving stop off another Omekanda shot with under 17:00 remaining and Severs floated a shot just over the crossbar with 16:12 left.

    Lindemann just missed Omekanda on a pass in the box with 6:30 left, Lindemann was just wide on a shot with 3:01 remaining and Omekanda headed a pass off a corner kick into the side of the net with one second remaining. Taylor smothered a shot from Schramm at the beginning of the first overtime period.