December 5, 1998
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland men's soccer team held off a late, furious rally by the Creighton Bluejays, and Maryland freshman defender Beckett Hollenbach (Havertown, Pa.) scored the Terps' game-winning goal at the 71:54 mark to lead the Terrapins to a 3-2 victory on Saturday afternoon in front of a standing-room-only crowd of 3,123 at Ludwig Field.
The Terps were on the board early as senior midfielder Steve Armas (Germantown, Md.) launched a ball from just above the center line and drilled it past Creighton goalkeeper Tom Zawislan into the upper right-hand corner of the net. Armas almost looked as if he was going to send the ball to a Maryland player, and when he looked up he realized Zawislan was playing way out in front of the net, thus leading to an open net. Maryland senior Pierre Venditti (Milford, Conn.) would attack 20 minutes later, as he accepted a flicker cross pass from sophomore Kirk Miller (Shorewood, Minn.) and headed the ball into the net from five yards.
The Bluejays never stopped playing, however, after being down 2-0 at the halfway mark. Maryland stopped its intense pressure it was showing in the first half and the Bluejays were able to capitalize. Creighton sophomore Brian Mullan (Littleton, Colo.) would accept a quick pass from junior Danny Madrigal (Chula Vista, Calif.) and head the ball past Maryland goalkeeper Christian Lewis (Ellicott City, Md.) from five yards out at the 74:25 mark.
Ten minutes later, junior defender David Wright (Louisville, Ky.) took a pass from senior Marc Madeley (Austin, Texas) and shot past Lewis from three yards out into the right side of the net at the 83:26 mark. Creighton had two late opportunities, including a shot by Madeley from the midfield with 12 seconds remaining that Lewis was able to come up with in a last-second effort.
Maryland advances to the Final Four in Richmond, Va., where it will meet the winner of the Virginia vs. Stanford game, which is being played on Sunday, Dec. 6. The Terps advance to the Final Four for the first time since 1969, and are looking for their first national title since 1968. The Terps and Michigan State were named co-champions in 1968 after playing to a 2-2 tie.
"This is an unbelievable moment in our history. The feeling is indescribable. It was a world-class goal by (Steve) Armas, and I think it set the stage for good things waiting to come," said Maryland head coach Sasho Cirovski. "This is a great moment but it is not complete. We are thrilled and privileged to be going to the Final Four. Creighton displayed a great deal of character and showed a lot of heart today. They are to be congratulated on a fine performance."
"Our heads go off to a fine Maryland squad," said Creighton head coach Brett Simon. "We were a team today that didn't have legs. I am proud of our team for their effort today. We gave it our best shot on not our best day."
1 2 OT Final Creighton 0 2 - -2 (16-4-2) MARYLAND 2 1 - -3 (16-7)SCORING: UM - Armas (unassisted), 18:18; UM - Venditti (Miller), 38:40; UM - Hollenbach (Twellman, Beach), 71:54; CU - Mullan (Madrigal), 74:25; CU - Wright (Madeley), 83:26.
Creighton 7 MARYLAND 8FOULS
Creighton 22 MARYLAND 20CORNER KICKS
Creighton 6 MARYLAND 3SAVES
Creighton (Zawislan) 2 MARYLAND (Lewis) 2