Maryland Men's Soccer Readies for NCAA Elite Eight Match With Creighton
Dec. 4, 2008
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - With a 13-game winning streak intact, the second-seeded Maryland men's soccer team will face No. 7-seed Creighton Saturday at 1 p.m. at Ludwig Field in the NCAA Elite Eight.
Maryland (20-3-0) crossed a pesky hurdle last weekend when it defeated California, 2-1, in the round-of-sixteen. The Terps fell in double overtime in the Sweet Sixteen the past two seasons. Omar Gonzalez netted his fifth goal of the year midway through the first half before Jeremy Hall connected on the game-winner. Hall now boasts a team-best 14 goals this season. The Terrapin defense was tested late in the game when Cal forward Andrew Wiedeman scored to cut the Maryland lead in half, but the Terps, with the help of freshman goalkeeper Zac MacMath, held on for the win. It was the 16th straight win for the young keeper and avenged his only loss in a Maryland uniform after Cal won the first meeting this season, 1-0. Following last Saturday's win, the Terps tied the record for victories in a season with 20. The Terps are looking to get back to the College Cup after a two-year absence.
Creighton is in its 17th consecutive NCAA Tournament and captured its 11th Missouri Valley Conference title earlier this season. The Jays dominated All-MVC honors, slating four first-team members including the MVC Player of the Year Andrei Gotsmanov and Defensive Player of the Year Chris Schuler. Gotsmanov leads Creighton in goals (10) and points (24). Creighton, which is ranked second in the latest NSCAA men's soccer poll, has defeated four ranked opponents this season, including California, Drake and Tulsa and Connecticut in the NCAA Tournament. The Jays squeaked out a pair of one-goal wins over the Hurricanes and the Huskies at home in the postseason to get to the round-of-eight.
The all-time series between the Terps and the Jays is dead-even at 1-1-1, with Maryland winning the last pivotal matchup in penalty kicks Nov. 28, 2004, to advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals. Maurice Edu nailed the eventual game-winning penalty kick before Terp keeper Noah Palmer made a save off a shot from Creighton's Vince Odorisio.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youths, seniors, and Maryland students. Tickets to Saturday's Elite Eight match are available by calling 1-800-IMATERP, at umterps.com, at the University of Maryland Athletic Ticket Office, or at the gate on gameday. The first 500 Maryland students at Ludwig Field Saturday will gain free admission when entering the north entrance.