Loyola takes early lead but eliminated in OT

men's college soccer

UNC Greensboro sub kicks winner

Terps beat George Mason

November 26, 2008|By Todd Karpovich | Todd Karpovich,Special to The Baltimore Sun

Loyola controlled the early part of last night's NCAA second-round game against visiting North Carolina Greensboro, and a first-half goal by Phil Bannister appeared to be the start of another dominant performance by the Greyhounds.

After getting the lead, however, Loyola appeared to become conservative and the Spartans took control, scoring the tying the goal in the 73rd minute. Corey Maret, a second-half substitute, then got the game-winner 2:11 into overtime to give UNC Greensboro a 2-1 victory and a date with the winner of the Harvard-South Florida game in the round of 16.

"They've won so many one-goal games, I think they contributed a bit to their downfall by sitting back," UNC Greensboro coach Michael Parker said. "I definitely think they took their foot off the gas. I think they thought they could get out 1-0. And it cost them."

Loyola entered the tournament as the ninth seed after completing its first undefeated regular season since 1986. The Greyhounds' only other loss this year was a 1-0 setback to Fairfield in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament championship game 10 days ago.

The Spartans (10-11-2), meanwhile, qualified for the tournament by becoming the first seventh seed to win the Southern Conference tournament. UNC-Greensboro is only the sixth team in the tournament's 50-year history to get in with a losing record.

The Greyhounds (18-2-1) played confidently early and kept UNC Greensboro in its own third of the field for most of the first half. Eddie Dines, Wade McHugh (McDonogh) and Bannister each had chances inside the penalty area in the opening 15 minutes, but their shots sailed wide or over the bar.

The Greyhounds' pressure paid off in the 24th minute when Bannister scored his 13th goal of the season off a cross from Jamie Darvill from 6 yards. Loyola outshot the Spartans 11-1 in the first half and 17-11 for the game.

"We just did not create as much in the second half," Bannister said. "They were better getting forward in the second half and creating opportunities."

UNC Greensboro attacked more in the second half. And Nirav Kadam broke through with 22 minutes remaining when he scored off a shot by Jokull Elisabetarson that deflected off Loyola goalie Milos Kocic from 5 yards. Loyola coach Mark Mettrick said the absence of injured defender Josh Taylor (Archbishop Curley) hampered his team.

"I think when they scored the goal, I did feel confident we could get opportunities again," Mettrick said. "I think we were a bit unlucky to have not scored more. In the second half, we did not have as many chances, but I always thought we could get a goal."

In overtime, the Spartans kept their momentum. Maret knocked in a loose ball in the 92nd minute from the corner of the penalty box past a diving Kocic (two saves) and the rest of the Spartans stormed the field in celebration.

"It was not a breakdown defensively," Kocic said. "We had six players around the ball and their player knocked it in. We worked extremely hard all year. And everyone gave their best. We can play with any team in Division I. It was just unlucky."

Maryland 2, George Mason 0:: The Terps got goals from a freshman and a senior as they advanced past the second round in an NCAA tournament game in College Park.

Freshman Casey Townsend scored Maryland's first goal about 21 minutes in, splitting two Patriots defenders after taking a pass from Jason Herrick. Senior Graham Zusi added the second with less than three minutes left in the first half, knocking home a header on a ball from Jeremy Hall.

The Terps (19-3-0) move on to face the winner of the game between UC-Santa Barbara and California, on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Ludwig Field on the Maryland campus.

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