Maryland men's soccer beat Notre Dame 2-1 on the strength of two first-half goals to move on to the fourth round of the NCAA Tournament Sunday. The Terps will face the winner of UC Santa Barbara at Clemson, which takes place Sunday at 6 p.m.
Eryk Wiliamson continued his scorching run, netting his sixth goal in six games in the 38th minute on an assist from Mael Corboz. Williamson has usurped fellow freshman forward Sebastian Elney as Maryland's top scoring threat of late, and used two excellent touches to create space in the box before unleashing a shot to the corner to give the Terps a 2-0 lead before halftime.
That goal would prove to be the difference, as Notre Dame's Patrick Berneski scored only two minutes later to make it a 2-1 game.
Ivan Magalhaes put the Terps up 1-0 in the 21st minute, scoring his first career goal off of a free kick from Corboz. The junior college transfer is another Terp who's been heavily involved in the offense all season, and he finally broke through.
Cody Albrecht and Alex Crognale were stalwarts on Maryland's back line, heading away several crosses throughout the game, and making Cody Niedermeier's day in goal much easier. Niedermeier allowed the one goal, but looked solid when he was forced to go get the ball, which wasn't often. He only had to make one save, and had an excellent diving stop on a cross late in the second half withstanding a late surge by the Fighting Irish.
The first half was one of Maryland's higher-scoring periods of the season. After Magalhaes put the Terps up early, Williamson increased their lead before Notre Dame scored on a ball that deflected off of Corboz into the net.
No one scored in the second half, though Notre Dame did make its obligatory late-game push in the last 15 minutes. Magalhaes went off when he received his second yellow card, and the Terps were forced to play the last 10 minutes with 10 men. They held on, and are now two wins away from the College Cup.
Three things to know
1. Maryland is on to the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight. The Terps really didn't look great in the middle of the season, but they really look like one of the best teams in the nation at the moment.
2. Eryk Williamson is on fire. After Williamson scored twice in the regular season finale against Rutgers, Mael Corboz said the freshman could end up with "eight or nine goals this season." The reporters in attendence chuckled, but now Corboz doesn't look so silly. Here's a look at his goal:
Here's Williamson's first-half goal. https://t.co/zUKt0pHYrH— Ryan Connors (@ryanconnors11) November 29, 2015
3. Maryland is fully capable of winning the National Championship. The Terps just beat one of the best teams in the country, and are humming in every aspect of the game. They have several scoring threats, and teams are having trouble penatrating Maryland's defense to get to Niedermeier.