Maryland men's soccer is on to the third round of the NCAA Tournament after dispatching Virginia 1-0 at Ludwig Field Sunday. The Terps will travel to play 7-seed Notre Dame next Sunday in South Bend.
An Eryk Williamson goal was the only thing separating the two teams on the scoreboard, but the 10th-seeded Terps held the ball much longer than the Cavaliers did and attacked much more often. Maryland led 23-8 in shots, and was able to shut down Virginia's offense all game.
The win is the Terps' fifth in a row, and moved them to 11-5-5 on the season. They've already advanced farther than last year's team, which lost in its first NCAA Tournament game against UMBC on its home turf.
Williamson's fifth career goal got Maryland on the scoreboard in the 38th minute. The freshman was able to corral a Mael Corboz free kick and tip it in right in front of Virginia goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell off a bounce to give the Terps the lead.
Maryland didn't score after that, but it didn't need to.
Cody Niedermeier recorded his ninth shutout of the season, making 2 saves. The Cavaliers attempted 8 shots, with 2 of them coming on goal. Virginia keeper Jeff Caldwell finished the game with 5 saves, allowing the 1 goal.
Maryland dominated possession at the beginning of the game, even if it didn't show up on the scoreboard. The Terps made constant crosses into the box and were able to make several runs before the pace slowed considerably midway through the half. The Terps ratcheted up the intensity again at the end of the half, resulting in Williamson's goal. Maryland ended the half leading in shots 9-3.
Maryland looked to have a goal in the 63rd minute when Caldwell appeared to cross the goal line after saving Ivan Magalhaes's shot, but the Terps rendered that call irrelevant by keeping the Cavaliers off the scoreboard. The Terps countered Virginia's obligatory late-game attempt to even the score, attempting several shots of their own near the end of the game.
Three things to know
1. Maryland is on to Notre Dame. The Terps are on fire right now, and will hit South Bend playing their best soccer of the season. Even though Maryland only had one goal, they could have had a lot more.
2. Eryk Williamson is coming on strong. The freshman forward waited until the final game of the season to net his first two goals, but he's had three more since. He's now tied with Tsubasa Endoh for second on the team in goals with five, and has been a huge part of Maryland's offense this postseason.
3. The defense dominated. Maryland only allowed eight shots, less than it attempted in the first half. The Terps made Niedermeier's day in goal easy, although the keeper stepped up when he needed to. Alex Crognale anchored the defense and headed balls away when necessary.