The University of Maryland men's soccer team surpassed expectations last year when it advanced to the final four of the NCAA tournament. The Terrapins could not live up to those expectations this season.
Maryland, which started the season ranked No. 1, was eliminated in the first round of the 32-team tournament by unseeded St. John's, 1-0, yesterday at Ludwig Field, as the Red Storm's Carlos Acquista scored on a breakaway with 1 minute 27 seconds remaining in the game. The Red Storm (12-5-3) moves on to face Penn State in the second round. Seventh-seeded Maryland finished with a 14-6 record.
"We've got a lot of people committed to making it better," said Maryland Coach Sasho Cirovski, whose team has two seniors, only one who starts. "We're going to sort it out. We'll be back."
Maryland outplayed St. John's for most of the game, outshooting the Red Storm 13-8 and coming up with nine corner kicks, compared with four for St. John's.
But late in the match Red Storm freshman Patrick Lonergan chased down a long ball and fed a wide-open Acquista. Terrapins junior goalie Christian Lewis came out to the top of the penalty box, but Acquista had enough room to kick the ball into the back left corner of the net.
"[Acquista] was running free for a good 40 yards," Lewis said. "It just got to a point where he was at the 18-[yard] mark and you had to make a decision. It's a tough situation."
Terrapins sophomore forward Taylor Twellman tallied seven shots on goal, including a scissor-kick from five yards out with 7:13 left that went right to Popik. After the game Twellman, a two-time all-Atlantic Coast Conference selection who may have a chance to sign with Major League Soccer, said he was undecided about his future.
"My goal for coming to the University of Maryland was winning a national championship, and this year we didn't do it," Twellman said. "So right now, I just don't know."
VIRGINIA 2, PRINCETON 1: Virginia's Drew O'Donnell scored the game-winner in the 128th minute to give the Cavaliers (13-8-1) the first-round win in Charlottesville. Virginia will host Brown next Sunday.
DUKE 4, UMBC 3: The top-ranked Blue Devils scored the final three goals to win in Durham, N.C. The Blue Devils (16-0-3) will host Santa Clara in the second round.