Terps men unravel late, fall in 2nd OT

Bradley 3 Maryland 2

College soccer

December 02, 2007|By Eric Detweiler | Eric Detweiler,Special to The Sun

Maryland men's soccer coach Sasho Cirovski said his team learned a lesson from last night's NCAA third-round game against Bradley at Ludwig Field.

The 12th-seeded Terrapins held a two-goal lead for more than 60 minutes, and as time wound down it appeared the Terps were headed to their fifth quarterfinal in six seasons. However, the Braves scored two goals in the last 2:31 of regulation to force overtime and won it, 3-2, on Chris Cutshaw's goal with 1:15 left in double overtime, sending the Terps to what Cirovski described as the most difficult loss in his 15 seasons as coach.

"We played for 90 percent a great game today," Cirovski said. "The lesson to my players and the lesson in life is 90 percent is not good enough. We have a saying that says, `Play every play,' and we certainly didn't do it."

Bradley advances to play at the winner of today's third-round game between Ohio State and UC-Santa Barbara on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

Even after the Terps' collapse in the final minutes of regulation, the game seemed destined to be decided by penalty kicks. Each team had advanced with penalty kick wins in the second round.

But with 1:15 remaining in the second overtime, Bradley's Paul Tracy served the ball into the box, and it glanced off Cutshaw and past Will Swaim, sending the jubilant Bradley players racing across the field to their contingent of fans who made the trip from Peoria, Ill., who occupied a spot on the sidelines near midfield.

Maryland's coaches pleaded for a hand ball to be called as the players slumped on the field.

Cutshaw said he didn't know what happened on the play but didn't feel the ball hit his hand. Cirovski saw it differently.

"From my perspective, from seeing it both live and on the replay, it was a clear hand ball that led to the goal. It never should've been a goal," Cirovski said.

Maryland took a 2-0 lead in the 28th minute on the strength of goals by Rodney Wallace and Omar Gonzalez but failed to score again. Meanwhile, the Bradley offense, which was nearly non-existent in the first half, managing only two shots, gained confidence.

Bradley, which had never won an NCAA tournament game before this season, beat DePaul and upset No. 4 seed Indiana to advance to last night's game, and Cutshaw said the team never gave up and just wants to keep going in the tournament.

"The dice are coming up Bradley lately," Cutshaw said. "It's just wild and very surreal."

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