Sunday, December 14, 2008

Maryland 2008 NCAA Soccer Champions

The best team in the ACC and the best team in the nation. The Terps did it! They won their third NCAA soccer championship with a 1-0 victory over ACC rival North Carolina.

Graham Zusi's second-half goal from about 20 yards out was the difference as Maryland beat the Tar Heels for the third time this season. Today's final was the first all-Atlantic Coast Conference final in the 50-year history of the NCAA men's soccer tournament.

Maryland (23-3-0) finished the season with a 16-game winning streak and in doing so, denied North Carolina a sweep of the men's and women's titles. UNC's women beat Notre Dame last Sunday.

The Terps won this title with a dominant defense. During the 16 game winning streak, they won by a combined score of 28-6. In their eight ACC and NCAA tournament games the combined score was 10-1.

Bottom line: The Terps defense came up HUGE since their last loss, 5-3 at Clemson on October 3rd. In that game Maryland surrendered three goals in a minute and a half late in the game to lose. To Head Coach Sasho Cirovski's credit, he didn't make any major adjustments. They just worked on details that were being overlooked and the defense started communicating better. As a result, the Terps have their second national title in four years.

Game links:
UM Terps

The Washington Post

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