Nov. 17, 2002
CARY, N.C. - Maryland captured its first ACC men's soccer championship since 1996 when it downed Virginia 2-0 on the strength of three goals from ACC Tournament MVP Abe Thompson (Fairfax Station, Va.). The Terps finish the regular season 17-4, tallying the most wins in a season in Maryland soccer history, while the Cavaliers fall to 15-6 on the year.
The Terps' first goal came on a well-executed break that weaved passes through from the midfield to Domenic Mediate (South Lake, Texas). Mediate touched the ball to Scott Buete (Bowie, Md.), who found a cutting Thompson in the box. Thompson unleashed the shot that made it 1-0 Maryland 4:45 into the action.
In an unusual turn of events in the second half, Virginia keeper David Comfort hit Mediate on a restart. The ricochet found freshman Jason Garey (Gonzalez, La.), who fired it and triggered a handball situation in the box. Thompson buried the penalty kick for his fourth goal of the tournament and second of the day to put the Terps up 2-0 with just over 30 minutes remaining to play in the championship game.
Virginia's Matt Oliver fouled A.J. Herrera (Albuquerque, N.M.) in the box in the 58th minute, resulting in a second penalty kick for the Terps. Thompson buried it again for the hat trick and the 3-0 Maryland win.
Sophomore Noah Palmer (Williamsburg, Va.) preserved the win for the Terps with seven saves, including several finger-tip denials of the Cavs. The shutout was his eighth of the year.
Maryland placed five players on the ACC all-tournament team. Thompson earned MVP honors, while Mediate, Palmer, junior defender Seth Stammler (Gahanna, Ohio), and junior striker Nino Marcantonio (Bethesda, Md.) also earned a spot on the team.
As the 2002 tournament champion, Maryland receives the ACC's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament and awaits the NCAA tournament selection show on Monday, Nov. 18, at 4:30 p.m. The show will be carried live by ESPN News.
Box Score 1 2 F No. 4 Virginia (15-6) 0 0 0 No. 2 Maryland (17-4) 1 2 3
Shots: UVA 11+6=17, UM 4+4=8 Corner Kicks: UVA 1+2=3, UM 1+0=1 Fouls: UVA 9+14=23, UM 6+10=16 Offsides: UVA 0+0=0, UM 0+2=2
Goalkeeping: Maryland- Noah Palmer (90 minutes, 0 goals against, 7 saves);
Virginia- David Comfort (90 minutes, 3 goals against, 2 saves)