Terps' NCAA joy ride ends, 2-1

November 28, 1994|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Sun Staff Writer

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Maryland's ride in the NCAA men's soccer tournament -- the Terps' first in eight seasons -- ended with a thud in the mud yesterday against a Virginia team that lives for the postseason.

The Cavaliers took another step toward an unprecedented fourth straight national championship by pouncing on Maryland with two goals in the first six minutes. Virginia then held on for a 2-1 victory before 1,198 at Klockner Stadium.

Virginia (19-3-1) advanced to next week's NCAA quarterfinals against James Madison. The Cavaliers, who have not lost a playoff game in six years, are pursuing their fifth NCAA crown in the past six seasons.

Maryland (14-6-1), which was coming off its first NCAA tournament victory in 25 years, had to settle for the greatest single-season turnaround in Atlantic Coast Conference history. The Terps were 3-14-1 last year, and their 14 wins eclipsed their victory total of the previous three seasons combined. The Terps beat five ranked teams this fall.

And Maryland overcame costly injuries while doing it. The Terps lost star junior midfielder Tod Herskovitz five weeks ago to a broken ankle. Two months ago, starting freshman midfielder Joe McIlwain had surgery on a broken toe. He returned in the second half yesterday.

"We were hoping to keep them [the Cavaliers] scoreless for the first half. But we allowed two goals in the first five minutes, and that's a heck of a hole to put yourselves in against a team like Virginia," Maryland coach Sasho Cirovski said. "Then you saw the Maryland team with heart and guts, a team that is on the rise and will be a contender for years to come.

"We've been students of Virginia for a long time, and we'll take a lesson from this. When we lost Tod, it was gut-check time. That's what makes our success that much more special. When you consider what we've done with the injuries, it's pretty amazing."

There was nothing amazing yesterday about the Cavaliers, who were typically efficient. Virginia, which lost superstar playmaker Claudio Reyna after last season, has relied on the super trio of senior forwards A. J. Wood and Nate Friends and sophomore midfielder Mike Fisher.

They made their presence felt immediately. Three minutes and 36 seconds into the game, Wood took a pass from midfielder Damian Silvera and beat Maryland goalkeeper Russell Payne from 15 yards to open the scoring.

Two minutes later, Payne failed to control a long Virginia pass after coming out to the top of the penalty box. Friends scooped up the loose ball and converted to make it 2-0.

That gave Friends 15 goals and his 40th point of the season. He, Fisher and Wood are the first trio in school history to score at least 40 points each in one season. The Cavaliers have set a school record with 79 goals this year.

Sophomore forward Shane Dougherty scored the Terps' goal on a penalty shot with 3:06 left in the second half. That came after Dougherty had blown a penalty kick by hitting the left post with 18 minutes left in the first half. Dougherty wound up the year with 17 goals, fifth-best in school history in a single season.

The opportunities were scarce for Maryland, which was outshot, 12-6. Virginia used defenders Ryan Borst, Brandon Pollard and Clint Peay (Oakland Mills) to shut down Dougherty and senior Malcolm Gillian (Oakland Mills). Gillian had scored four goals in his previous five games, including two in last week's 4-3 victory over Georgetown in the tournament's first round.

"I thought we managed to make a relatively easy game rather tough at the end," Virginia coach Bruce Arena said. "The two goals early was obviously a big factor, but what hurt was not getting that third goal and putting them away. Maryland never quit. But that's how they've played every game this year."

Maryland 0 1 -- 1

Virginia 2 0 -- 2

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