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Terps Win National Championship

Graham Zusi scored from 18 yards midway through the second half to lift Maryland to its second NCAA men's soccer championship in four years, a 1-0 victory over ACC rival North Carolina at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Tex., today.

The goal capped a spectacular weekend for Zusi, a senior midfielder who beat St. John's in the semifinals with a 26-yard free kick late in overtime. In the 67th minute of the final, Jeremy Hall's shot inside the penalty area was blocked by a defender and deflected into Zusi's path for a powerful one-timer into the lower left corner.

Second-seeded Maryland (23-3) won their final 16 games and denied the No. 13 Tar Heels (15-8-1) their first title since 2001.

Maryland also shared the 1968 championship after tying Michigan State and won it outright in 2005 by beating New Mexico.

By Steve Goff  |  December 14, 2008; 3:05 PM ET
Categories:  College Soccer  
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Comments

Were you quick to post that or is ESPN2 on delay?

Posted by: sitruc | December 14, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations Maryland on a great win.

(from a UVA fan - we'll see you guys again next year)

Posted by: Pedalada | December 14, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Here we go Maryland, here we go!

What a terrific weekend for the Terps. They dominated St. Johns and outlasted UNC to win another national title.

It occurs to me that Maryland has 2 national titles: Men's soccer and Women's field hockey. The Terps also accomplished that feat during the 2005 season.

HERE WE GO MARYLAND, HERE WE GO!

Posted by: Terptwin | December 14, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Congtrats to Maryland, nice to see a local university take the national championship.

Posted by: RedDevil1 | December 14, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Lots of youth in the ACC- next season will be even more competitive I think

Posted by: carmines757 | December 14, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Great weekend! You can't lose in the final four if the other teams don't score against you1 When is the victory rally in College Park?

Posted by: robinfickerofrobinrealty | December 14, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

A lot of that young talent in the ACC has contacts within Europe that are eager to pry them away from college early.

Luckily for the ACC, we seem to be able to recruit the best in the Nation on a consistent basis.

Posted by: alecw81 | December 14, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to Maryland. As for the game, I saw it briefly and the quality was extremely poor. Attendance, if NCAA can figure out and have the final game at either college that will at least help attract home fans. Until this game becomes popular it needs to play at the finalist home to draw attention.
Weather: it should not be an issue. They need to be smarter and move beyond the cold weather fear and stop taking the games to no show areas.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | December 14, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Sweet ! Feaer the Turtle !

Posted by: Redman2 | December 14, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Where the Heck is Frisco, Texas? No wonder there was no one there. It would have been much better in College Park or Chapel Hill........what a stupid decision to have it in the middle of nowhere.

Posted by: mcreynolds | December 14, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

The championship location rotates periodically -- probably based on the "best" offer by a host venue. It was great when it was in Richmond -- very convenient for some memorable (and yes, cold) games.

Today's game was less than memorable -- very choppy in the midfield as two very competitive teams dealt with each other and a strong wind. The best that could be said for it was that Maryland won.

BTW, only 98 days to the opening game!

Posted by: Curious99 | December 14, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

"It occurs to me that Maryland has 2 national titles: Men's soccer and Women's field hockey. The Terps also accomplished that feat during the 2005 season."

Yep, 2005-06...and you remember the other NCAA title Maryland won that year?

It'd be nice to have Brenda Frese and company repeat that trifecta, although this year's Terps are awfully young aside from Toliver and Coleman. Still, if this team matures by March, you never know...

Posted by: VPaterno | December 14, 2008 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Good win for the Terps. Choppy game with lots of giveaways and unnecessary high balls in the wind. But MD made the best of its chances and came up with some strong saves to keep themselves ahead.

An ESPN graphic during the match stated that if UNC won, they would be the first to win both men's and women's titles in the same year. Obviously the ESPN graphic guy didn't read the post here, that Messiah won the double.

Which made me think, with Messiah's wins and the losses of Notre Dame and St. John's, God must be Protestant :-).

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 14, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

I watched the game and, while please for UMD, was pretty underwhelmed with the quality of play. Looked like kickball out there, the ball pinging around hither and yon with very little control. I guess some of that could be the wind, maybe the field? Hardly any nice combinations or buildups the whole game. Anyway, it's still better than no soccer...

Posted by: edgeonyou | December 14, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Rodney Wallace and Jeremy Hall are the truth on the left side, we'll look back on this team and see them as the Robbie Rogers/Maurice Edu quality duo that '05 had. And if I were running an MLS team, I'd totally spend a 2nd rounder on Zusi, his size and speed are nothing special, but man that guy is clutch.

Posted by: mobility83 | December 14, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

A UVA fan congratulated Maryland? WTF is wrong with you? Boooooooooo.

Posted by: Reignking | December 14, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

UNC played like a 13th seed team. Hopeless long balls, very frustrating to watch. Just goes to show how much of an off night Wake had Friday. Maryland deserves the title

Posted by: carmines757 | December 14, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

I sure hope Steve has got some good news about United this week.
Skins are done for the season. Won't have to waste my next two Sundays, only wishing I would have watched the entire CCF. I some how walked in and witnessed the lone goal though.

Seeing the trophy case and the pitch sitting so quietly on Saturday sure got the juices flowing again.
I don't know who you folks were who were grilling and swilling in the parking lot, but I guess I should have known better. Ya'll had the right idea.
See ya next year:-)

Posted by: DadRyan | December 14, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

i was impressed by the amount of faith both coaches put into freshman. freshman were playing key parts on both sides. I was suprised on the unc side, with standout Sheanon Williams. While it was kind of a cheap shot on Macmath towards the end, he has been rock solid for unc all year. And it seems to be another trend that, he is a forward turned defender. Is that the case for a lot of college teams? i mean both gonzalez and delagarza were both forwards in high school. interesting. what do you guys think?

Posted by: jayphu | December 15, 2008 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Are they burning couches on Frat Row and have all the students congregated on the corner of Knox Road and Route 1 to riot?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | December 15, 2008 3:22 AM | Report abuse

"it seems to be another trend that, he is a forward turned defender"

I think Brandi Chastain started that trend.

@DadRyan: what were you doing at RFK in Saturday? Relax. The season will start before you know it.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 15, 2008 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Jay:

yes, converting forwards to defenders is really quite common. players end up as forwards at a younger age because they are big and fast, so they can outrun people in the kick and run game played so often at the younger levels where you put talent on offense. then you get to the college level and realize that everyone is big and fast, and ball skills are more important at the forward level (especially since you bring your defenders forward on set pieces much more in college) having a speedy, big defender is easier to teach than the ball skills needed to be a big striker. we don't teach the ability to go one on one very much in the US, especially not to big guys, so they become defenders. it's the American disease, if Jozy Altidore had gone to college, he'd be Gooch now.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | December 15, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

f Jozy Altidore had gone to college, he'd be Gooch now.
Posted by: joshuaostevens | December 15, 2008 8:16 AM
=================

That was just a mean-spirited attack on American soccer. Valid, thoughtful, and funny; but mean-spirited.

In other words, good post.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 15, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

"For a program that has done so much in the past decade, this team just set the gold standard," said Terrapins Coach Sasho Cirovski...

Sasho must by the most humble man he knows.

That said, he knows how to win.

Posted by: joedoc | December 15, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Not to be a hater or anything--

Is college soccer usually this unattractive and painful to watch?

Posted by: Palin-McCain2012 | December 15, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Team Sale I-270. Had to pass through the Office before being led like cattle to the VW Lounge. Got a nice view of the field on the way over:-)
The team store was also open and giving out DCU stockings and/or elf? hats with a $20 purchase... Not to mention they finally got the toddler jerseys in stock and the smaller letters and numbers to go with...:-)

Posted by: DadRyan | December 15, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Dude, not to be a hater or anything but that handle of yours is pretty unattractive and painful to read.

Posted by: DadRyan | December 15, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Congrats, Maryland!! Excellent job....love to see the national championship go to a D.C. area team.


Posted by: Smitty8 | December 15, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Congrats Terps!!!

Posted by: Kev29 | December 15, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Where the Heck is Frisco, Texas? No wonder there was no one there. It would have been much better in College Park or Chapel Hill........what a stupid decision to have it in the middle of nowhere.

Posted by: mcreynolds | December 14, 2008 7:39 PM
__________________________________________


It was not known who the two finalists would be until less than 48 hours beforehand, so this is clearly not feasible. A neutral site for the semis and the championship game has to be selected well in advance; that much is a given. However, it doesn't have to be selected years in advance. In fact, the men's and women's College Cup sites for both 2008 and 2009 were selected in March 2007 (http://www.ncaa.org/wps/ncaa?ContentID=2422).

In a previous thread, it was mentioned that there was no team from Texas in this year's tournament. In fact, SMU was the only Texas entrant in the 2006 tournament, the last one before the 2008-09 sites were chosen, and it was eliminated in the second round. SMU was again eliminated in the second round in 2007, and it didn't get an invite this year. Of course. there were two semifinalists from the ACC in 2006, two last year, and three this year.

I propose that starting in 2010, the NCAA should not select championship sites until after the conclusion of the previous season. Although one can never know in advance which 48 teams will be in the tournament in a given year, let alone which four will be around for the College Cup, the previous year's tournament is probably a pretty good predictor of which conferences, if not which teams, are likely to do well.

Someone else mentioned Richmond. Indeed, when the College Cup was held there in the 1990s, the championship game routinely drew a crowd of 15K-21K, which no other venue has matched, before or since:

http://www.ncaa.org/wps/ncaa?ContentID=14960

Posted by: universityandpark | December 15, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

It was not the best soccer because there was a strong constant wind that made it pretty tough to play. Regardless, great games are seldom played in a final in any sport... with a few obvious exceptions I suppose.

Anyway, it was kind of a dull game, but it's good to see Md. pull it out.

Posted by: hacksaw | December 15, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and sorry, but what are Harkes and Agoos doing on the top 11 in Div one? Give me a break.

Posted by: hacksaw | December 15, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and sorry, but what are Harkes and Agoos doing on the top 11 in Div one? Give me a break.
__________________________________________

Who would have replaced them on your list?

Posted by: universityandpark | December 15, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

"... the previous year's tournament is probably a pretty good predictor of which conferences, if not which teams, are likely to do well."

This makes financial sense. In fact, for each of the traditionally strong conferences (except for the Big 10) there are probably a several available, soccer-friendly venues where there's a reasonable chance of decent weather.

The 2009 College Cup is in Cary. So the experiment will be done.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 15, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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