It was the type of goal that Maryland's Taylor Kemp has dreamed about his entire life.
In the 88th minute of Sunday's NCAA tournament third-round game, Kemp hit a left-footed, full volley into the top corner of the goal to give second seed Maryland a 1-0 victory over 15th seed Penn State before an announced 2,219. It was Kemp's first career goal and the only one of Maryland's 21 shots that was on frame.
The Terrapins won their 15th consecutive game and tied a program record with their 15th shutout. Maryland (19-2-1) hosts Michigan, a 3-1 winner over South Carolina, in the quarterfinals at 1 p.m. Saturday.
"It's been a long time coming," said Kemp, a sophomore defender. "I've been pushing forward, pushing forward and trying to get assists. It felt amazing and could not have come at a better time. I love this team so much, and I'm glad I could do my part to help my team get through."
Penn State junior forward Corey Hertzog rarely had room to maneuver with Maryland defenders Ethan White and Greg Young on his heels with every touch of the ball. Hertzog, who entered the game with an NCAA-best 20 goals, didn't get off a shot until the 47th minute.
"We communicated very well, just knowing where he was," White said. "The outside backs were talking to us, telling us what was going on behind our backs. We were just keeping an eye on him. We know he's dangerous."
Penn State (14-8-1) outplayed Maryland late in the first half and created the most dangerous scoring opportunity when senior forward Drew Cost fired a shot from 18 yards that forced junior goalie Zac MacMath to make a diving stop.
The Terrapins played with more urgency in the second half and peppered Penn State's penalty area with shots and crosses. Maryland outshot Penn State 5-1 in the opening 15 minutes of the second half.
"We knew this was going to be a very tough, hard-fought game," Maryland coach Sasho Cirovski said. "I don't remember being involved in a game where our team did not have a shot on goal until 87 minutes into the match. We've been scoring a lot of goals this year, and I think you almost sense that one of these games was about to come."
Maryland continued to push forward. A shot by senior midfielder Doug Rodkey went just wide in the 68th minute, and a header by senior forward Jason Herrick went just over the cross bar three minutes later. Herrick hit the cross bar on a full volley in the 84th minute.
The Terrapins were finally rewarded with less than three minutes remaining in regulation when Kemp volleyed home a loose ball from about 20 yards. Junior forward Casey Townsend had seven shots for Maryland.
"Sometimes you're a little off," Townsend said. "We weren't as sharp in the final third as we needed to be. Sometimes we lost our composure. I'll take the blame for that."
Goals: M—Kemp. Saves: P—Birmingham 0; M—MacMath 3 . Half: 0-0