[GEORGETOWN-MARYLAND]Georgetown and Maryland, two schools 11 miles apart, had to travel to Alabama to play a game that if it wasn't an NCAA Tournament game they would not have played. And play they did. Goals came in rapid-fire fashion, in spans of one, two and three minutes. In one of the greatest games in the history of the Men's College Cup, the Hoyas won 4-3 in a shootout after the game ended 4-4. The win sent them into the final for the first time and snapped a 28-game losing streak against the Terrapins in a series that dates back 60 years.
An old basketball feud spiraled out of control when Maryland Athletic Director Kevin Andersonannounced earlier this year that the Terrapins would not schedule any games against the Hoyas in all sports until the basketball impasse was resolved.
That must have been news to NCAA men's soccer committee selectors because they seeded Maryland No. 2 and Georgetown No. 3, putting them on course to meet in the semifinals.
Maryland rolled into Hoover, Ala., with the nation's top offense but a not entirely sturdy defense and that set the stage for a wild affair against a Georgetown team featuring arguably the nation's top 1-2 punch, junior Steve Neumann and freshman Brandon Allen.
Georgetown went ahead 3-1 and 4-2 asNeumann scored a hat trick for the Hoyas -- the first hat trick in the College Cup since Nate Friendsscored three goals for Virginia in 1993 -- and Allen scored his 16th goal of the season when Maryland keeperKeith Cardona, his former teammate in the New York Red Bulls academy, mishandled a back pass and booted the ball off Allen into his own goal to start the second half.
But the Terrapins had plenty of fire power of their own. Zimbabwean freshman Schillo Tshumascored the first two goals. Goals by Hermann Trophy finalist Patrick Mullinsand freshman Christiano Francois tied the game at 4-4. And Maryland had the Hoyas on the ropes and chance after chance in the last 10 minutes of regulation to win the game, but it couldn't get the fifth goal.
Overtime was anticlimactic, and the game moved on to penalty kicks, where Maryland looked to be in command, leading into the fourth round. But Georgetown goalie Tomas Gomez saved the last two penalty attempts by Taylor Kemp and Helge Leikvang to give his team the epic victory.
“It’s very difficult to cope with the reality that we are not advancing,” Maryland coach Sasho Cirovskisaid. “This was in my view the greatest semifinal in the history of college soccer."
The eight goals were the most in an NCAA semifinal since 1963.
“I blacked out after halftime, so hopefully we won,” Georgetown coachBrian Wiese said. “That’s about as entertaining a soccer game as you will ever see.”
Dec. 7 in Hoover, Ala.
Georgetown 4 Maryland 4.Goals: Goals: Neumann 33, 34, 61, Allen 48; Tshuma 22, 59, Mullins 74, Francois 77.
Georgetown --Gomez, Muller, Seiler, Nealis, Dillon, Christianson, Rosenberry, Riemer, Rudy, Allen, Neumann. Subs: Padilla, Skelly, Snoh, Snyder.
Maryland --Cardona, Cyrus, Kemp, Woodberry, Edwards, Metzger, Stertzer, Raley, Jane, Mullins, Tshuma. Subs: Ambrose, Francois, Leikvang, Eticha, Endoh, Pace.
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