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Portland shuts out Maryland, 1-0, for spot in NCAA women's semifinals Terrapins fail to convert several scoring chances


PORTLAND, Ore. -- The University of Portland women's soccer team defeated Maryland, 1-0, yesterday in the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament before 2,643 rain-soaked fans at Merlo Field.

The No. 2 Pilots (19-0-2) scored their only goal with 7:12 remaining in the first half when Shannon McMillan fired the ball past the outstretched arms of Terps goalkeeper Kassie Knecht.

"Things didn't go our way," said Knecht.

Portland's score was set up by Jody Dutra, who fired a perfect pass through four Terps defenders.

No. 8 Maryland (18-6) had several scoring opportunities in the opening minutes of the second half, but couldn't knock the ball past Portland goalie Erin Fahey. Maryland seemed demoralized after squandering its chances.

"Maryland has always been at its best when there's hope, when they're down a goal," Terrapins coach April Heinrichs said. "It was mental fatigue and a disappointment that settled in at 25 minutes -- and I've never seen that happen."

Heinrichs was upset by the Terrapins' sputtering offense.

"We were indecisive," she said. "The battle was won in the first half and they wore us down in the second half."

Portland attempted to capitalize on Maryland's weak offensive performance, but Knecht came up with five saves in the second half.

"I was thinking I couldn't let another one go by because I felt we had a chance to win," Knecht said.

Maryland had a final chance to score with two minutes left, but Emmy Harbo's header was snatched out of the air by Portland goalie Fahey, causing Heinrichs to shake her head in disgust.

"Portland's a great team, but I don't feel we played well," Heinrichs said. "I want to play them again."

Portland was impressed with Maryland's aggressive style.

"They went to the ball hard," sophomore Justi Baumgardt said. "They were all over the our posteriors."

"Maryland will be back next year," Portland coach Clive Charles said. "They're a good young team."

Portland will make its second straight trip to the national semifinals Friday, facing Southern Methodist in Chapel Hill, N.C.

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