Nov. 28, 2007
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - After a scoreless 110 minutes of action at Ludwig Field, the No. 19 Maryland men's soccer team and Loyola had to go to a penalty shootout to determine which side would advance to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. Freshman keeper Thorne Holder, who did not play in the entire game, made two saves and sophomore Jeremy Hall converted the winning kick as the Terrapins advanced past Loyola in the shootout, 4-2, and into the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Terps advance to play Bradley on Saturday, December 1 at 6:00 p.m. at Ludwig Field. The Braves tied Indiana, 1-1 in Bloomington, and advanced on penalty kicks, 5-4.
"It feels great to advance," head coach Sasho Cirovski said. "It was an extremely well played game. I thought the spirit of the game was exemplary and Loyola should be congratulated for how they played and the number of people they brought. It made for a great college soccer atmosphere."
"I felt like we played well, but I think we had some rust from a couple of weeks off. The timing of some of our runs in the box and the quality of our crosses was not as sharp as it was the last part of the year. I have to credit Loyola though. They have a great keeper and their backs are very disciplined and committed. It was very difficult to penetrate. We didn't get a lot of great looks at their keeper. They were able to do what they wanted to do in terms of taking away opportunities from us. However, I thought we moved the ball well and controlled the tempo. I thought we played well but I know we can play better. I'm pleased we advanced and we're looking forward to the next challenge."
As expected with Maryland's attacking style and Loyola's defensive-minded play, the Terps dominated the flow of the match most of the way. Maryland fired off 18 shots against Loyola while the Greyhounds had just five.
Greyhound keeper Milos Kocic kept the Terps at bay with six saves while freshman keeper Will Swaim was required to make two in the match.
Before the 110 minutes expired, Holder was warming up on the sideline for a possible shootout. It was a predetermined move by Cirovski, who counted on both freshman keepers in the night.
In the shootout, senior Spencer Allen and Tennant McVea both hit the back of the net, but Kocic saved Maryland's second attempt and the Grehounds scored to take the 2-1 lead. Senior Stephen King converted his chance to tie it, then Holder stopped Camilo Correa's shot to make it 2-2. Sophomore Omar Gonzalez gave the lead back to Maryland with his goal and then Holder guessed correctly again, this time stifling Julian Cantillo.
Hall stepped to the ball knowing that one more goal would seal the win and he delivered, beating Kocic to send Maryland into the third round of the NCAA Tournament for the sixth straight season.
Both teams spent time on the attack in the first half with Maryland getting a bulk of the chances. Junior Graham Zusi sent a cross into the box from the right side 15 minutes in and found Hall who redirected towards goal. Kocic was there to make the save though.
Loyola's only quality chance of the half came with 27:59 to go as Phil Bannister handled the ball deep in the box on left side. He fired, but his shot sailed high over the post.
The Terps had another chance to score with 10:15 left in the half as junior Rich Costanzo had the ball about 35 yards out. He decided to blast a shot towards the right side which surprised Kocic, but he came up with the diving save to keep the game scoreless.
Swaim was finally tested with 27:43 to go in regulation as Bannister again struck a hard shot to the left side. Swaim dove to his right and kept the ball out of the net.
Maryland's best chance in the half came when Costanzo served a ball into the box for King. The pass found him in the box and King headed it towards goal, but Kocic made the diving save.
The only shot in the two overtime periods belonged to Loyola a minute into the second extra session. Correa served the ball into the box where two Greyhounds were with a pair of Terp defenders on them. The Maryland defense was able to block a pair of shots before they got anywhere to thwart the attack, setting up for the penalty shootout.