Nov. 21, 1999
COLLEGE PARK, Md.- - St. John's Carlo Acquista (Whitestone, N.Y.) scored at 88:23 on a breakaway-goal to upset No. 7-seed Maryland in the first round of the NCAA men's soccer tournament at Ludwig Field. The Red Storm, now 12-5-3, will face Penn State next weekend in the second round. The Nittany Lions advanced after a 1-0 win over William & Mary on Saturday in State College. Maryland finishes its season at 14-6, compiling the most regular-season wins ever in program history.
"Obviously it's very tough to lose this game because we definitely played well enough to win," said Maryland head coach Sasho Cirovski. "We had some terrific chances that we just didn't capitalize on."
St. John's packed the box most of the afternoon, playing a very defensive style of soccer. Maryland still managed several good chances during the second half with their best opportunity coming at 82:42 off a Nick Downing (Redmond, Wash.) corner kick. Downing sent a rocket to sophomore forward Taylor Twellman (St. Louis, Mo.) who attempted a bicycle-kick shot from close range. St. John's goalie Dan Popik (Syosset, N.Y.) was there to save the shot for the Red Storm, however. The save was one of four for Popik on the day.
St. John's head coach Dave Masur credited Popik for holding his defense together in the victory. "He controlled for us in the back. Especially today, the box was crowded and it's difficult for a goalie to maneuver. It's especially important for him hold his ground, and he came through today."
The Red Storm caught Maryland aggressively attacking the net, and midfielder Patrick Lonergan (Millington, N.J.) capitalized on a through-pass that led to the Acquista breakaway. Acquista came charging from just over the midfield line at Terp goalie Christian Lewis (Ellicott City, Md.) with Maryland defenders to his left and hot on his heels. In the end, he was able to fire the shot from ten yards out past a diving Lewis for the goal.
The game was only the second meeting ever for the two programs, and the first in the postseason. The Red Storm now leads the series 2-0.
Box Score 1 2 F St. John's 0 1 1 No. 7 Maryland 0 0 0
GOALS: 88:23- ST. JOHN'S: Carlos Acquista (Patrick Longerhan)
SHOTS: St. John's 8, Maryland 13
CORNER KICKS: St. John's 4, Maryland 9
FOULS: St. John's 14, Maryland 6
OFFSIDES: St. John's 3, Maryland 1
Maryland: Christian Lewis (90 minutes, 3 saves, 1 goal allowed),
St. John's: Dan Popik (90 minutes, 4 saves, 0 goals against)
CARDS: Maryland: Nick Downing (Yellow- 37:26),
St. John's: Medufia Kulego (Yellow- 37:26), Pawel Krakowiak (Yellow- 63:27)