Terps Top SMU 4-1; Advance To NCAA Finals
Dec. 9, 2005
Dec. 9, 2005
CARY, N.C. - Maryland went ahead late in the first half and then blew the game open with three goals in just over two minutes in the second half to defeat SMU, 4-1, Friday night at SAS Soccer Complex in Cary, N.C. The Terrapins advance to the national championship game against New Mexico. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. and will be televised live on ESPN2.
"I was very proud of our performance," head coach Sasho Cirovski said. "I thought we were sharp from the opening whistle. At halftime I told the team that we rightfully deserved a lead. In the second half we came out on fire. I thought we put a very good show today and it was a complete performance."
"It feels good," senior Jason Garey said of moving on to play in the championship game. "In the last few years we've been disappointed at this moment and packing up the bus to go home. It feels good to be able to stay here and play on Sunday."
"It's an unbelievable feeling," A.J. Godbolt added. "We've been talking the entire year about giving ourselves a chance to win it. And now we're 36 hours or so from getting that chance and our entire team is really excited about it."
Graham Zusi put the Terps on top just before the half ended, and the Terps exploded for three goals in just over two minutes to start the second half to put the game out of reach. Jason Garey scored back-to-back goals in the 47th minute (the fastest consecutive scores in NCAA Tournament history) and Stephen King added a penalty kick after Maurice Edu was taken down in the box in the 49th minute as the Terps advance to their first national final since 1968.
SMU countered on a goal from Paulo da Silva in the 55th minute after da Silva's shot deflected off a Terp defender and redirected into the score. For the game, the Terrapin defense (playing without senior anchor Kenney Bertz) allowed just seven shots. Freshman goalkeeper made five saves on the afternoon - including four in the first half.
The Terrapins controlled the early portion of the play creating opportunities for Garey. Garey took Maryland's first three shots in the game, one of which was cleared off the line by a SMU defender. The Mustangs countered with chances of their own putting a shot on goal on a free kick and a blast from Duke Hashimoto, but both were saved by Seitz.
SMU built two more dangerous chances in the box, but could not come up with the score. With time winding down in the first half, Glaudemans controlled the ball deep in the final third and worked to the endline where he sent a cross through the box that Zusi half-volleyed cleanly into the back of the net to give the Terps the 1-0 lead heading into the half.
Maryland jumped out quickly to start the second on Garey's 21st goal of the season. On the play, Robbie Rogers worked along the touchline and sent a cross to the near post where it was flicked to the far post to Garey for the score at 46:41. Just 15 seconds later, Edu stole a ball in the midfield and fed a streaking Garey where he beat the keeper for the 3-1 Terrapin lead. King capped off the Terp scoring with his 15th goal of the season on the penalty kick.