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Terps Fall Short in Quarterfinal Thriller
Courtesy: Maryland Athletics
Release: 12/04/2010

Dec. 4, 2010

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The No. 2 seeded Maryland men's soccer team dropped a heartbreaker to No. 10 Michigan, 3-2, in double overtime Saturday in the quarterfinals of the 2010 NCAA Men's Soccer Championship.

Michigan midfielder Fabio Pereira's goal from four yards out ended Maryland's stellar campaign in the 104th minute. The exhilarating match featured two of the nation's most powerful offenses and saw three lead changes.

The Terps (19-3-1) amassed 33 shots on the day, eclipsing their season-high mark by 11 but could only manage to get two in the back of the net. The forward tandem of Casey Townsend and Jason Herrick accounted for Maryland's offense with Townsend's goal giving the squad a 1-0 lead at 16:46 and Herrick's tally knotting up the score with 11:01 remaining in the match.

Townsend's 16-yard strike in the first half via an assist from Billy Cortes, one of five Maryland seniors who capped their career Saturday, gave the Terps an early lead and confidence as the Terps entered the quarterfinal round boasting a tremendous 19-0 record after netting the first goal of the match.

Michigan (17-4-3) answered shortly into the second period with a Jeff Quijano goal with 4:31 elapsed in the stanza. Justin Meram tacked on the Wolverines' second goal exactly 10 minutes later and Maryland found itself trailing for the first time since a loss at North Carolina Sept. 24.

Herrick's drive just outside the box tied up the score in the 79th minute. Matt Kassel and Taylor Kemp were both credited with assists. With the dish, Kassel, a junior, moved to sixth all-time in career assists (24).

After several near-misses in the first overtime stanza including back-to-back, identical looks from Townsend and John Stertzer which sailed just wide, the Terps were ultimately outdone by Michigan's first strike of the second overtime period when Pereira slid in a shot just inside the post to advance to next weekend's College Cup in Santa Barbara, Calif.

"This is probably the most gut-wrenching, heartbreaking loss at Ludwig in my career but yet I'm extremely proud of the effort our team put forward," head coach Sasho Cirovski said. "I thought that we played a very good first half and were very unlucky to not get more than one goal. Michigan gained some momentum with that early goal in the second half and yet we were still very composed and really felt like we were going to come back and win this game.

"Our guys rebounded with the championship fiber that is a part of our program. We did everything but put the ball in the back of the net. I love this team. We've had an unbelievable season. It's really hard to believe we are not going to Santa Barbara."

Saturday's match was the finale for seniors Cortes, Herrick, Will Swaim, Greg Young and Doug Rodkey. The group racked up an astonishing 44-6-5 record at Ludwig.

TOURNAMENT NOTES:

· With an assist Saturday, Kassel moves up to seventh on the single-season assist list at Maryland with 11.
· Herrick's goal in the second half was his career-high 11th in 2010.
· Maryland's winning streak was snapped at 15, one short of tying a program-record set in 2008.
· Saturday's loss to Michigan was only the ninth defeat in keeper Zac MacMath's three seasons at Maryland.
· It was only the second time this season that Maryland has surrendered more than two goals this season. The other was in the first match of the season against Michigan State, a 4-3 defeat in overtime.
· Maryland is now 44-25-4 in the NCAA Tournament. This is the second consecutive season Maryland has fallen in the quarterfinal round. The Terps fell to eventual national champion Virginia in 2009.



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