CARSON, Calif. - The Maryland men's soccer team has ended its previous two seasons with a pair of bitter one-goal defeats in the national semifinals.
Last night was perhaps an even more agonizing loss.
With 48 seconds remaining in the second overtime, Indiana midfielder Danny O'Rourke sent a cross to the right post. A streaking John Michael Hayden headed the ball past Terps senior goalkeeper Noah Palmer to give Indiana a 3-2 overtime win in the College Cup semifinals at Home Depot Center.
The goal lifted the Hoosiers (18-4-1) to their seventh national championship, tomorrow against the winner of Duke and UC-Santa Barbara, which played late last night.
The loss marked the third straight season the Terps (17-6-2) have been eliminated in the national semifinals.
"It's just pure emptiness," said Sasho Cirovski, who has led the Terps to four College Cups since 1998.
"When you set high goals and you want to climb the highest mountains, you set yourself up for hard falls. If we are going to fall let's fall in the College Cup.
"One of these days we might get a break."
After Indiana took a 2-1 lead on junior Mike Ambersley's hard shot from the top of the 18-yard box in the 71st minute, Maryland answered.
The Terps' offense stalled after halftime with Indiana possessing the ball in Maryland's half of the field for the majority of the second half. Indiana outshot the Terps 17-3 after halftime.
But Maryland junior midfielder Michael Dello-Russo's bending corner kick found freshman Maurice Edu, who headed it in to tie the game 2-2. The goal was just Edu's second of the season. He had not scored since Sept. 3.
Maryland took the lead after Indiana goalkeeper Jay Nolly failed to clear a soft cross from Chris Lancos.
Thompson corralled the loose ball, made a move to his right and sent a quick cross to Garey, who shot it into the back of the net for his 22nd goal of the season.
The Terps entered halftime with a 1-0 lead.
But Indiana's Brian Plotkin sparked the Hoosiers' offense after the intermission.
Plotkin - who had several close scoring chances in the first half - finally beat Maryland senior goalkeeper Noah Palmer in the 52nd minute.
The Hoosiers were awarded a free kick after Plotkin was taken down just outside the 18-yard box by Dello-Russo.
Plotkin tucked a low, lining shot past a diving Palmer and into the left corner of the net to tie the score.
"I feel like we played a little tentative in the first half," Plotkin said. "The second half we moved the ball and kept it on the ground."
Both teams came out attacking in the opening minutes.
The Hoosiers nearly jumped out to an early lead when sophomore midfielder John Michael Hayden ripped a shot from about 20 yards out that careened off the crossbar.
Maryland countered in the 14th minute when junior defender Chris Lancos sent a cross to Garey, but Indiana goalkeeper Jay Nolly's diving save ended the run.
"I can't say that it hurt any more than the other three [College Cup losses]," Garey said. "We got to the final four. Only four teams can do that. We've done it three years in a row."
Maryland 1 1 0 0 - 2
Indiana 0 2 0 1 - 3
1st half - Maryland, Garey (Thompson). 2nd half - Indiana, Plotkin; Indiana, Ambersley; Maryland, Edu (Dello-Russo). 2OT - Indiana, Hayden (O'Rourke).
What: NCAA Division I men's soccer final four
Where: Home Depot Center, Carson, Calif.
Last night's semifinals: Indiana 3, Maryland 2, 2OT UC Santa Barbara 5, Duke 0
Tomorrow's final: Indiana vs. UC Santa Barbara, 4 p.m., ESPN2