Nov. 15, 2006
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Sophomore Graham Zusi and freshman Jeremy Hall both scored as the No. 7 Terps shutout No. 9 St. John's, 2-0, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on November 15 at Ludwig Field. Maryland will face another BIG EAST opponent on Saturday, November 18 as it will host No. 12 Notre Dame at 6:00 p.m. in College Park.
The Terps played solidly on all ends of the field as Maryland owned a 17-6 advantage in shots and only allowed two shots on goal, both easy saves by sophomore keeper Chris Seitz. Maryland's first goal ended a school-record 674 minute shutout streak that the Red Storm had put together. They had shutout their last seven opponents.
"You saw a fresh team today," head coach Sasho Cirovski said. "We played a very difficult schedule this year in a lot of difficult environments and the team was beat up. It takes a little bit of bounce in your step to go run at people. Today, we wanted our players to be free. I wanted them to not be afraid to make mistakes and play with some purpose. You saw that today."
Play began with both teams spending a bulk of the time in the midfield and the Red Storm came away with the first shot on goal. With 15 minutes expired, Ryan Soroka found an opening and fired a shot at the goal, but Seitz gobbled up the shot easily.
The first opportunity for the Terps presented itself with 23 minutes left in the half when Zusi was open from about 20 yards out in front of the box. With a clear lane to shoot, he fired, but his shot sailed harmlessly over the crossbar.
In the 26th minute, senior A.J. Godbolt sent a cross from the right side to the far post and found freshman Jason Herrick. Herrick distributed a low ball to the center of the box to an awaiting Hall, who easily beat the keeper to put the Terps up 1-0.
Maryland got two more chances before the closing whistle as Herrick found A.J. Delagarza in the box who delivered a header that bounced just right of the mark. As time expired, King also tried his hand at a header, but keeper Jason Landers made a great save to keep the Terps from cushioning their lead.
Twenty minutes into the second half the Terrapins almost struck again as Hall fired a hard shot on goal that was saved. The ball caromed straight into the air and was headed away. The ball bounced right to junior Stephen King, however, who sent a shot, but Rory Quinn stepped in front of the shot to make the save.
The second Terps goal came in the 57th minute when the St. John's keeper Landers tried to pass a ball to one of his defenders. Zusi stole the bad pass and made a move past Landers towards the center of the field. Two Red Storm defenders back-peddled towards the goal, but Zusi fired a high blast out of their reach to give the Terps the 2-0 lead.
The Maryland back line buckled down but did allow one more dangerous chance for the Red Storm. Soroka received a pass from Tadeu Terra on the left side, but his shot barely missed high.
Hall got one more chance to put the icing on the cake with 14 minutes to go when he was the recipient of a Zusi pass on the left side of the box. Hall took the shot, but it nailed the post and was cleared out of danger.
"We were very crisp with the attack towards the second part of the first half and throughout the second half, really," Cirovski said. "St. John's is a great program with a great tradition and we knew it was going to be a difficult game."
The Terps will now face No. 12 Notre Dame on Saturday, November 18 at 6:00 p.m. at Ludwig Field. The Irish beat Illinois-Chicago tonight, 1-0.
Maryland is just 667 fans away from breaking the all-time single-season attendance record. So far this season, a program record of 38,138 fans have watched the Terps at Ludwig Field. Connecticut holds the single-season record at 38,804 fans in 2000.