A goal in the 90th minute from midfielder Dan Metzger gave the Maryland men's soccer team a 2-1 victory over Brown in the NCAA tournament second round Sunday night at Ludwig Field.
Metzger's goal off a bending free kick from midfielder Helge Leikvang capped a comeback by the No. 2-seed Terps after Brown went up 1-0 in the 17th minute. Now, in the next step toward coach Sasho Cirovski's third national championship, the Terps will take on unseeded Coastal Carolina at home next Sunday in the tournament's third round.
"Our guys rose to the level to find a way necessary to get the win," Cirovski said. "This team has showed its resiliency several times this year from being down. They prove to me over and over again they have the heart of a champion."
Brown (13-3-3), playing a physical style of soccer that has frustrated the Terps (18-1-2) previously this year, struck first. In the middle of a scrum in front of the Terps' goal, Bears forward Bobby Belair netted a ball through the defense off a corner from defender Dylan Remick. It was the sixth time the Terps allowed the opponent to score first.
And like they have all season long, the Terps rallied back. In the 44th minute, forward Patrick Mullins fired a laser from 25 yards out past Brown goalkeeper Sam Kernan-Schloss to tie the game. It was his team-leading 14th goal of the year, and like many of them so far, it came in yet another big moment. It was Mullins' 84th-minute goal Nov. 9 against Clemson that tied the ACC tournament semifinals, a game Maryland won, 2-1, in overtime.
"There's nothing to my nature," Mullins said. "I just made the play at the right time that was important for us going into the half."
The Bears kept attacking Maryland, though. While other teams this year have become defensive-minded when leading or tying the Terps, Brown stayed on the offensive and took 10 shots, placing three on goal. Maryland goalkeeper Keith Cardona made two saves.
"We talked about it like a boxing match," Brown coach Pat Laughlin said. "You had to take a few punches and also give out a few punches. We had to go to the middle of the ring and fight, and I think our guys proved that."
In the end, Brown's efforts proved futile, as Metzger emerged from a scrum with the game-winner, the scoreboard showing just 57.2 seconds remaining. The sophomore's goal was his first since Aug. 31 against UCLA, and it sent the Terps to their 11th straight NCAA tournament third round.
He was next in a long line of Cirovski's players to step up in big moments this year. In the ACC tournament, it was Leikvang and defender Dakota Edwards. Sunday night, it was Metzger.
"We knew this was going to be a tough one," Cirovski said. "We met the challenge. It wasn't the prettiest soccer. At this point, you survive, you advance and we'll have plenty of time to play our pretty soccer."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun