Nov. 14, 2010
CARY, N.C. - A Matt Kassel penalty kick goal followed by a tremendous defensive effort gave Maryland its fourth league tournament title Sunday, as the Terps dropped North Carolina, 1-0, in the 2010 Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Soccer Championship.
Maryland (17-2-1) goalkeeper Zac MacMath was named the ACC Championship Most Valuable Player after tallying six saves to preserve the Terps' 13th shutout this season. Kassel, Casey Townsend and Jason Herrick were also tabbed to the all-tournament team.
Kassel netted his eighth goal of the year and second against UNC when his penalty kick beat Tar Heel goalkeeper Scott Goodwin in the 14th minute. The junior from Bridgewater, N.J., set up the golden opportunity as well when his shot bounced off Enzo Martinez's hand to set up his fifth penalty kick chance of the season.
A red card was issued to Tar Heel midfielder Michael Farfan in the 35th minute following a collision with John Stertzer. Despite playing a man down, UNC (16-3-1) continued to apply pressure up top. Alex Lee made one of the finest plays this season when he blocked out an open net shot by Martin Murphy five minutes into the second stanza. A few slick moves by Murphy brought MacMath out of the box and a heady Terrapin defense crashed the box with Lee ultimately making the team save.
MacMath registered his Maryland program-record 13th shutout in 2010, topping his previous mark of 12 that he set in the 2008 season when the Terps last won the ACC title. Maryland has won 13 consecutive matches dating back to a loss to North Carolina in Chapel Hill Sept. 24.
"We are absolutely delighted to be standing here as the ACC champions," head coach Sasho Cirovski said. "We knew this was going to be a tough game from the beginning. We have tremendous respect for Carolina. Championship games take strange courses sometimes. I thought our defensive effort was of championship quality and that's what you have to have to win this type of games."
Maryland will find out its seeding in this year's 2010 NCAA Men's Soccer Championship at 4:30 p.m. on Monday. The complete tournament bracket will be announced live on ESPNU.