Led by Donovan Pines (River Hill), Maryland men's soccer advances to NCAA final
From Sun staff and news reports|
Dec 08, 2018 at 1:35 AM
Matt Di Rosa and Donovan Pines (River Hill) each scored Friday night to lead the Maryland men's soccer team over second-seeded Indiana, 2-0, and into Sunday’s NCAA final in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Di Rosa opened the scoring in the first half, and Pines, a Clarksville native, sealed the deal in the 79th minute to propel the No. 11 seed Terps (12-6-4) into a showdown with unseeded Akron (15-6-2) in the championship match.
A small gesture in 2013 sparked a friendship between Amar Sejdic and Paul Bin at Real Salt Lake Academy that has strengthened as the duo powers No. 11 seed Maryland’s offense in the NCAA Division I tournament semifinals.
This will be the first appearance in the NCAA final since 2013 for Maryland, a three-time national champion. Kickoff at Harder Stadium is scheduled for 8 p.m. Sunday, and the game will be televised on ESPNU.
"I was really impressed with the performance of our team today,” coach Sasho Cirovski said. “To beat a great program like Indiana on this stage, it was going to take a Herculean effort on both sides of the ball. This was our most complete performance of the year. We knew we would have to take balls off the line and block shots to try and contain their terrific players. We put together a game plan to do that and our players executed perfectly.”
After a slow start by both teams, Maryland struck first when Di Rosa had a shot in traffic deflected past Indiana goalie Trey Muse in the 37th minute. It was the first goal of the sophomore and Washington native’s career.
In the second half’s opening 15 minutes, the Hoosiers (20-3-1) consistently challenged Maryland’s defense. Indiana nearly found an equalizer, but Ben Di Rosa, Matt’s twin brother, cleared away a ball near the Terps’ goal line.
Fifteen minutes later, Maryland gave itself a two-goal cushion when Pines redirected a free-kick deflection through Muse’s legs for the second tally of his junior season.
Pines and the Terps defense continued their strong play in the final 10 minutes, keeping Indiana out of the net and earning their fourth consecutive shutout.
Maryland has yet to allow a goal in four NCAA tournament matches and was the first team to score on Indiana in nearly a month. The Terps lost their first two meetings with their Big Ten Conference rival this season.