Maryland Receives No. 2 Seed, First-Round Bye in Men's NCAA Soccer Tournament

By Steven Goff
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thanks to an 11-game winning streak and Atlantic Coast Conference championship, Maryland received the No. 2 overall seed in the 48-team NCAA men's soccer tournament.

The Terrapins (18-3) were among 16 teams awarded a first-round bye and will await the George Mason-Pennsylvania winner next Tuesday night at Ludwig Field. The Patriots (13-6-2) won the Colonial Athletic Association title Sunday and will carry a seven-game winning streak into Friday night's first-round match against the Quakers (11-2-4) in Fairfax.

ACC runner-up Virginia (11-8-1) will make its 28th consecutive tournament appearance and host Fairfield or Connecticut next Tuesday night.

Defending champion Wake Forest, whose 24-game unbeaten streak was snapped by Virginia in the ACC semifinals, received the No. 1 seed and will face William & Mary or Winthrop in the second round. St. John's and Michigan State are the No. 3 and 4 seeds, respectively.

Six of the ACC's nine teams earned berths, while the Big East and Big Ten received five slots apiece.

Maryland, which has not lost since Oct. 3 at Clemson, will remain at home until it loses or reaches the College Cup on Dec. 12-14 at Pizza Hut Park in suburban Dallas, site of the semifinals and final.

The 2005 champions have not played George Mason in the NCAA tournament since 1986, but in last year's regular season, the Terrapins earned a 3-0 home victory. Maryland's path to the College Cup could include California, which defeated the Terrapins in the second game of the season, in the round of 16 and Virginia in the quarterfinals.

The Patriots, who have outscored opponents 19-4 during their winning streak, have advanced to the NCAA tournament two of the past three seasons after a 10-year absence.

In the women's tournament, which began last weekend, Virginia (15-4-3) will host Duke (14-5-3) in a round-of-16 match at 7 p.m. Saturday. James Madison (14-6-2), which upset Wake Forest in the second round, will visit Portland (19-1) on Saturday night.

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