Saturday, November 29, 2008

NCAA Soccer: Maryland 2, California 1

It was a beautiful day outside so I drove out to University of Maryland's Ludwig Field to check out the Terps 3rd round NCAA Tournament game vs California. Ten bucks got a general admission seat and I ended up meeting a couple friends there who were seated at midfield.

Since winning the 2005 National Championship, the Terps have seen their season end in the third round the past two years. Not today as the Terps beat Cal 2-1 to advance to the NCAA Elite Eight.

Maryland (20-3-0) took the lead as 6' 5" Omar Gonzalez scored on a header. It remained 1-0 Terps at the break.

California (12-4-5) worked hard in the second half, putting together a couple good scoring opportunities but the Maryland defense held them scoreless. Maryland made it 2-0 as Jeremy Hall scored his 14th goal of the year.

Cal finally scored with 23 minutes left in the game when Andrew Wiedeman flicked a ball over Maryland keeper Zac MacMath into the back of the net. It is the first goal the Maryland defense has given up in the past four games.

Tension mounting and Cal nearly scored the game tying goal two minutes later but MacMath made an incredible sliding save to preserve the Terrapin lead. Cal continued to apply offensive pressure until the game ended and almost tied it late but their shot went just wide of the post.

The win, Maryland's 20th, ties the school record and Maryland was able to redeem itself for losing earlier in the year to Cal 1-0.

The Terps next game is Saturday vs Creighton at Ludwig Field, 1:00 PM

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