COLLEGE PARK - Last season, Maryland advanced to the round of 32 in the NCAA Division I men's soccer tournament, then was upset by Loyola College at its home pitch.
The Terrapins made certain there wasn't a rerun of that slip last night at Ludwig Field, dominating American University, 1-0, before 2,103 to remain unbeaten in 11 matches this season in College Park.
The victory moved Maryland (18-4) into Sunday's round of 16 against Saint Louis University, a 1-0 winner last night over New Mexico. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m., also at Ludwig Field.
A 12-day layoff after capturing the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament was the concern for Terps coach Sasho Cirovski, who thought his team might be a little rusty.
"We were just eager to play about four days after the ACC ended," Cirovski said. "I was worried about the ... layoff. It seemed like a heck of a long time."
Not to fear. Maryland came out last night focused and attacking, a pattern that continued for the majority of the game against a pesky American team that just could not penetrate the Terps' airtight defense.
Maryland, which outshot the Eagles 16-8, misfired on numerous first-half scoring chances, then scored the game's only goal in the 53rd minute, when a pair of sophomores, Abe Thompson and Domenic Mediate, hooked up for a picture-perfect play.
Thompson, the Terps' leading scorer, building on a pass from junior forward Nino Marcantonio, sent a cross from the right side past three defenders to Mediate, who beat American goalkeeper Michael Behonick low.
In cold, blustery conditions, that was enough offense for Maryland's sixth straight victory as the back line, headed by Seth Stammler, and hustling midfielders kept the pressure off goalkeeper Noah Palmer, who had four saves.
"They got behind us a couple times, but we were able to sit it out," Stammler said.
American (13-8-1) received an at-large bid after losing the Patriot League title game to Lehigh in a 10-9 shootout.
"It's always exciting to play American," said Cirovski of the northwest Washington school. "They're very well coached, and they commit to play good soccer. It seems like every year we have to play a very good local team that is having a good year."
American 0 0 - 0
Maryland 0 1 - 1
Goal: M-Mediate. Assists: M-Thompson, Marcantonio. Saves: A-Behonick 7 ; M-Palmer 4.