Sasho's #20WinningMoments: 2002
Nov. 17, 2002
Maryland captured its first ACC men's soccer championship since 1996 when it downed Virginia 3-0 on the strength of three goals from ACC Tournament MVP Abe Thompson. The Terps finish the regular season 17-4, tallying the most wins in a season in Maryland soccer history.
Maryland placed five players on the ACC all-tournament team. Thompson earned MVP honors, while Domenic Mediate, Noah Palmer, junior defender Seth Stammler, and junior striker Nino Marcantonio also earned a spot on the team.
Former FC Dallas standout and current Maryland assistant coach Michael Dellorusso reflects on the 2002 ACC title:
"Winning the 2002 ACC Tournament was one of the most memorable times of my college career. We defeated a very talented Virginia team 3-0 on the day, with Abe Thompson getting a hat trick.
"That championship meant more to us than just a victory that day though. In 2001 we had a very tough time in the ACC. We finished 1-4-1 and got an early exit from the tournament that year, losing 3-1 to Clemson in the first round. We also had a devastating end to our season, losing 1-0 to Loyola in overtime in the NCAA tournament. There were a lot of people, on the outside, who doubted us and did not see us as one of the country’s elite. All of us associated with the team, knew differently. We knew how good we could be and went out to prove it to the rest of the country.
"That ACC championship felt like the beginning of our team establishing our true identity. The feeling at the end of the game was priceless. I will never forget the look on all my teammates’ faces and what that moment meant to all of us. Capturing one of the toughest championships in college soccer, with that group of guys, was something I will treasure the rest of my life."
To commemorate Sasho Cirovski's 20th season as head coach at Maryland, UMTerps.com is celebrating his decorated career with a series titled "20 Winning Moments". Have a moment you think deserves to be on the list? Tweet us at @MarylandMSoccer with the hashtag #20WinningMoments.