The Georgetown men’s soccer team has already managed one first
by making the NCAA College Cup.
Now, the third-seeded Hoyas are aiming for another big milestone
when they meet neighboring traditional power No. 2 Maryland – which
has won all 28 previous countable meetings – Friday in the
semifinal match between two schools located about 12 miles apart.
They haven’t met since 2009 other than a preseason match a year
ago, which Georgetown won.
”It didn’t count, but the majority of these guys’ only
experience against Maryland is that we won,” Hoyas coach Brian
Wiese said. ”They’re not walking in here saying, `This is an
untamable lion.’ History’s on their side, right?
”Hopefully 29th game lucky. That’s what we’re banking on.”
The winner of that Washington, D.C.-area matchup faces either
No. 8 seed Creighton (17-3-3) or No. 16 Indiana (14-5-3) for the
championship on Sunday.
The Hoyas (19-3-2) had won only four NCAA tournament matches
before advancing with victories over UNC Charlotte and San Diego
and a 1-1 third-round tie with Syracuse.
Wiese and his players clearly aren’t harping much on the
one-sided history with the Terrapins (20-1-2).
”Despite the history, it’s going to be a good game,”
midfielder Ian Christianson said. ”We don’t worry about it too
This is Maryland’s 12th College Cup but first since winning
national title No. 3 in 2008.
The Terrapins are led by Patrick Mullins, a finalist for the MAC
Hermann Trophy given to the nation’s top player. Mullins has
produced 16 goals for the team that leads the nation in
He’s happy with the first-round matchup, even if it required
such a long journey to arrange it.
”We love it,” Mullins said. ”We’re glad to be down here
playing a local rival for us.”
Maryland coach Sasho Cirovski made it clear this was his team’s
intended destination by having ”Sweet Home Alabama” blare over
the loudspeakers after home wins this season.
”It’s become a favorite,” Terrapins defender Taylor Kemp said.
”We’re not sick of it at all. If we’re able to hear that song at
the end of the game, we know we did a good job.”
Kemp has had a tough road to get here. He has only played in 11
games and traveled to Germany in mid-October for surgery to repair
a sports hernia.
The other semifinal game features teams that had to win a pair
of road games to advance.
Creighton earned its second straight College Cup appearance by
snapping Connecticut’s 38-match home winning streak with a 1-0 win
on Christian Blandon’s goal with 90 seconds left.
Creighton’s only previous College Cup victory was a 2-1
triple-overtime win over Indiana in 2000. Midfielder Jose Gomes and
Notre Dame forward Ryan Finley are the other MAC Hermann
The Hoosiers have a record 81 NCAA tournament wins and won their
second straight championship and fourth in seven years in 2004.
”There’s no level of intimidation because that happened in the
90s,” said Creighton coach Elmar Bolowich, who is 4-1 against
Indiana. ”Some of our guys weren’t even born then. I don’t see
that being a factor.”
Indiana coach Todd Yeagley was hired at his alma mater in 2009
and has quickly gotten the program back to the College Cup.
He can draw on his own experience as a four-time All-American
who helped lead the Hoosiers to the championship game in 1994 and
the semifinals three years earlier.
”I’m just trying to tell them to enjoy it,” Yeagley said. ”I
know that when I was a player, that was something my coach said was
to take it all in, enjoy it, play loose. You’re here because you
put a body of work together.
”Now, it’s just, leave everything you’ve got out there on this
field and enjoy the experience.”
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