scored a goal with just 13 seconds left in the first overtime period to lift the top seeded Maryland men’s soccer team to a 1-0 victory over Clemson in the ACC semifinals Friday night in front of 3,352 fans at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
The Terrapins (12-3-5) and Tigers (11-6-2) played an even match until Sauers’ late winner. The Terps will look to defend their 2012 title against Virginia in Sunday’s ACC Championship game.
Sophomore Schillo Tsuma notched the first chance of the match early on with an ambitious bicycle kick attempt that went wide.
The rest of the first half would see the Terps hold the majority of possession, but lack quality chances.
The Tigers ramped up the physicality in the second half. Patrick Mullins was able to breakthrough the Tiger defense early in the half, but his shot from 25 yards away was well saved by Clemson keeper Andrew Tarbell.
Neither team would notch another quality chance until the first overtime period. Alex Shinsky had two solid strikes in the stanza, but both went wide.
Zack Steffen saved the game for the Terps when a Clemson free kick deflected off the Terrapin wall. The freshman keeper adjusted to the path of the ball and expertly palmed it over the crossbar.
Sauers ended things just before time. A slight touch from Mullins helped the ball into the freshman’s path and he powered into the right corner of the net for his third goal of the season.
Maryland led Clemson in shots, 13-11, and nine different Terps had notched a shot. Steffen had three saves between the sticks for the Terps.
“Clemson is a great team. For sure they are an NCAA tournament team. I was extremely proud of our overall commitment to defending,” head coach Sasho Cirovski said. “There was a lot at stake. This is a very important tournament to us in a very special setting and we are delighted we get a chance to play on Sunday.”
The Terrapins will play for their 30th overall ACC Title on Sunday against Virginia. Kickoff is scheduled at 2 p.m. at the Maryland SoccerPlex and coverage can be seen on ESPNU.