Georgetown, Maryland set to meet in NCAA soccer semifinals

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Sports,College,Craig Stouffer

Feuding schools playing each other in semifinals

Georgetown and Maryland's feuding athletic departments currently aren't allowed to schedule one another in any sports. This time it isn't up to them.

On Friday in Hoover, Ala., they will meet in the NCAA men's soccer championship semifinals following a pair of respective home victories in the tournament's quarterfinals.

College cup
Georgetown vs. Maryland
When » Friday, time TBA
Where » Regions Park,
Hoover, Ala.
TV » ESPNU

In the moments after Georgetown clinched its place in the NCAA men's soccer final four for the first time in program history, coach Brian Wiese had a reminder for his team. The Hoyas (19-3-2) hadn't just reached the national semifinals with a 3-1 victory over San Diego; they had done so coming out of the "Georgetown bracket" as the tournament's No. 3 overall seed.

"I think we earned it, first off, in the season, and we proved that," Hoyas senior defender Tommy Muller said. "In the NCAA tournament, we took that as we're going to have to be that much better every game since we have that target on our back. In the end we had good enough quality to get it done."

That was evident from the outset at North Kehoe Field even though the upstart Toreros (14-9) still scored first. Julian Ringhof's header off a corner kick from Dan Delgado in the 50th minute was a surprise for the Hoyas after they missed two golden chances of their own in the first half. But they took just 65 seconds to answer. Steve Neumann's perfectly placed free kick was nodded backward by Ringhof into his own net.

Georgetown goalkeeper Tomas Gomez made a fingertip diving save to his left to deny Connor Brandt's header in the 65th minute. Seven minutes later, Neumann bent in another free kick, and this time freshman Melvin Snoh slid in at the back post for a 2-1 lead on his first tally in a Georgetown uniform.

"How we responded is what these guys have been doing all year," Wiese said. "To be able to do it in this setting is a tribute to the leaders we have on the field. They don't exude any panic ever."

With some 2,500 fans filling the stands and even watching from outside the barred fence surrounding the field, Neumann missed a chance to cement the result despite an open net in the 85th minute. Three minutes Andy Riemer also bounced his initial attempt of the crossbar, but it came right back, and he kept his composure to put the game away. Fans rushed the field as the final whistle sounded.

Four hours later in College Park, the air was one of expectation as the second-seeded Terrapins (20-1-2) matched the Hoyas by capturing their own bracket. With a 3-1 win over Louisville (14-6-1), Maryland exacted revenge for a third-round NCAA loss in 2011, advancing to the College Cup for the 11th time overall and sixth time in 11 seasons.

Jake Pace's 45th-minute header ensured Maryland took a 2-1 lead into halftime before 3,556 at Ludwig Field. London Woodberry had put the Terps ahead in the 34th minute before Zach Foxhoven equalized for the Cardinals six minutes later. Patrick Mullins doubled Maryland's advantage in the 68th minute with his 16th goal of the year.

cstouffer@washingtonexaminer.com

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