The Maryland Terrapins defeated Akron, 4-1, in penalty kicks Saturday afternoon at Ludwig Field. The Terps and Zips played to a 1-1 tie through 110 minutes of action.
With the win, Maryland (17-4-2) advances to its fourth-straight College Cup. Akron finishes the season with a 18-1-4 record.
It will be the fifth College Cup appearance for head coach Sasho Cirovski (1998, 2002-05). His record in the NCAA Tournament is 18-10-3.
Maryland is the only team from 2004 to return to the College Cup. Of the three other teams (SMU, New Mexico, Clemson), the Terps have faced only Clemson this season. SMU, however, participated in the preseason Westfield Cup tournament with Maryland in Akron, but the two teams did not play each other.
The Terps are in search of their first national championship since 1968.
The crowd of 4,129 was the fifth-largest in Ludwig Field history.
Saturday's tie now makes the all-time series between the two schools entirely square at 1-1-1.
Maryland improved to 10-0-2 in the NCAA Tournament at Ludwig Field over the past four years. In each of the two ties, the Terps have advanced on penalty kicks. Maryland also extended its home unbeaten streak to 19 games (17-0-2).
The Terps are 2-2 all-time in penalty kicks under Sasho Cirovski, including a 2-1 mark in the NCAA Tournament.
Kenney Bertz' goal in the first half was his third of the season and the sixth of his career. It was his first NCAA Tournament goal. He now has 11 points on the year - a career high. Bertz had to leave the game with an injury but he is expected to be ready for action for the national semifinals.
The 1-0 defict was just the third time the Zips had trailed all season long. Akron trailed twice against St. John's but rallied each time before settling for a 2-2 tie.
Maryland is unbeaten when scoring the game's first goal (16-0-2).
For the third straight game, Marc Burch helped seal the victory for Maryland. Credited with the game-winning goal against Brown and the game-winning assist against St. John's, Burch clinched the penalty kick win with a conversion in the fourth round.
For the eighth time this year Maryland was outshot in a game (19-17). The Terps have a winning record in those games, though, with a 4-3-2 mark.
Goalkeeper Chris Seitz improved his record to 11-1-2 on the year. Seitz finished the day with four saves, which does not include his clutch penalty kick save in the shootout.