Nov. 12, 2008
CARY, N.C. - The No. 2-seeded Maryland men's soccer team utilized an early score by junior midfielder Jeremy Hall and great goalkeeping from freshman Zac MacMath to lift the Terps to an ACC quarterfinal win over seventh-seeded North Carolina, 1-0, Wednesday afternoon at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.
Hall tallied his 12th goal of the year at 13:33 after senior Rich Costanzo dribbled the ball down the field approximately 30 yards before serving a cross to Hall on the far side of the box who fired a shot from close-range for the game-winner. Junior Doug Rodkey was also credited with an assist in the play after one-touching the ball to Costanzo near the middle of the field. For Hall, an All-ACC First-Team selection, it is the tenth goal the midfielder has tallied in the last ten contests.
Fifth-ranked Maryland (16-3-0) nearly padded its lead out of the locker room in the second half after a cross from Rodney Wallace grazed the crossbar followed by a shot off the post by Jason Herrick two minutes later in the 52nd minute. Casey Townsend then had an eerily similar play from last week's match against the Tar Heels when he broke away in the 54th minute only to see UNC keeper Brooks Haggerty make a solid save to keep it a one-goal contest. Haggerty earned the start after entering last Friday's match in the second half and shutting out the Terrapin offense for 45 minutes in the regular-season finale at Ludwig Field.
North Carolina (11-6-1) put together a rally with 25 minutes remaining in the contest when they possessed the ball for nearly four minutes and narrowly missed on a pair of shots from Zach Loyd and Cameron Brown. The Tar Heels outshot Maryland, 9-7, for the game.
MacMath faced more pressure in the last two contests than in the majority of the season and tied his career-high with six saves. The freshman has now won 11-straight games and posted six shutouts between the pipes.
"Any time you play a team two times in a five-day span, it is going to be a tough game to win," head coach Sasho Cirovski said. "North Carolina is a good team and we knew it was going to be a battle...what is exciting is that I know we have not played our best game yet this season."
Maryland, who won its ninth-straight Wednesday, moves on to the semifinals where it will face Boston College at 5:30 p.m. Friday night in Cary. The Terps advanced in the ACC Tournament for the first time since 2006.