Terps reach final in soccer

Garey's 1-2 punch helps stop SMU, 4-1


CARY, N.C. -- It was the briefest of moments. It lasted, at best, maybe a few seconds. But the two men involved will never forget it.

Maryland's soccer team was preparing to take the field for the second half of its NCAA semifinal yesterday against Southern Methodist when Terps coach Sasho Cirovski caught the eye of Jason Garey, his senior captain. Garey was the last man to leave the Terps' locker room. "You're due, kid," Cirovski said. "You're due."

Garey smiled. "I know," he said, and left it at that.

In a span of 15 seconds during the second half, Garey made that short conversation seem prophetic. He scored twice - the two fastest goals in College Cup history - to lead the Terps to a 4-1 win over the Mustangs at the SAS Soccer Park in front of 8,645.

Maryland, which came into the game having lost three consecutive NCAA semifinals, earned a spot in tomorrow's national championship game for the first time since 1968. The Terps (17-4-2) will play New Mexico, a 2-1 winner last night over Clemson.

"That was vintage Jason Garey," Cirovski said. "He's a lethal goal scorer. He had about four chances in the first half, and I knew he was dangerous. You can't keep a good player like that down for long."

In truth, the Terps dominated both halves yesterday against the Mustangs, but after the first 45 minutes, they had only a 1-0 lead to show for it. Freshman Graham Zusi put away a nice pass from David Glaudemans in the 43rd minute for Maryland's first goal, but the Terps could hardly relax. History was not in their favor.

In 2004, Maryland dominated the first half of its NCAA semifinal game against Indiana, but ended up losing to the Hoosiers in double overtime. In 2003, Maryland outplayed St. John's for most of the game, yet lost 1-0. Could it possibly happen again?

Nope. Not this time. Not after what happened in the second minute of the second half. Terps freshman Robbie Rogers lofted a perfect cross to the far post of the goal, and junior midfielder A.J. Godbolt outjumped defender Chase Wileman in traffic and flicked a header to Garey, who was all alone in front. Garey put it away easily for his 21st goal of the year and a 2-0 lead.

"A.J. made that first goal," Garey said. "He had been telling me all game that he was going to get on the end of one of those crosses. The ball was about to go out of bounds, he won the header over his guy and I was just there to tap it in."

Maryland students, who showed up in larger numbers thanks to two university-chartered buses, hadn't even stopped cheering before Garey struck again. On the restart, Terps sophomore Maurice Edu sent an outlet pass to Garey, who was streaking between two defenders. The Terps' captain found the net for the second time.

"I didn't even realize it was 15 seconds," Garey said. "I knew it was quick, but not that quick."

Said Godbolt: "A lot of times that happens with us. We'll get a goal and then we'll get another one off the enthusiasm. We kind of feed off each other."

Maryland made it 4-0 three minutes later on a penalty kick by Stephen King, giving the Terps 65 goals for the year, a school record. The Mustangs finally got on the board in the 54th minute when a shot by Paulo da Silva deflected off a Maryland defender and past goalie Chris Seitz, but by then, it was all but over.

"I'm very proud of our performance," Cirovski said. "I thought the team was extremely well prepared mentally and physically. I really thought we were sharp from the opening whistle. ... I'm excited for Sunday."

kevin.vanvalkenburg @baltsun.com

SMU 0 1 - 1

Maryland 1 3 - 4

Goals: SMU-daSilva; M-Garey 2, King. Assists: SMU-Guarda; M-Edu, Glaudemans, Godbolt, Rogers. Saves: SMU-Wideman 3; M-Seitz 5. Shots: SMU 7, M 13. A: 8,645.

College Cup

Maryland vs. New Mexico for NCAA championship, tomorrow, 2 p.m. TV: ESPN2

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