Nov. 25, 2008
BALTIMORE - After 90 minutes did not decide a winner, UNC Greensboro's Corey Maret scored a goal two minutes, 11 seconds into the sudden victory overtime period of the second round of the NCAA College Cup, lifting the Spartans over the host Greyhounds, 2-1, on Tuesday night at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field.
Maret, standing at the top of the 18-yard box, buried a shot into the lower right corner of the net past a diving Milos Kocic, ending the Greyhounds' spectacular season in front of 1,328 spectators.
UNC Greensboro (10-11-2) will advance to play the winner of tonight's USF-Harvard match on Saturday or Sunday.
"It was a game of two halves. I think we really played well in the first half and maybe we could have capitalized on a few more opportunities, but UNC Greensboro really stepped it up in the second half, so congratulations to them," Loyola Head Coach Mark Mettrick said.
Loyola (18-2-1) struck first at the 29:33 mark in the first half on a nice combination play from their forwards. Jamie Darvill dribbled down the right side of the field, and played a cross into the box, which Phil Bannister headed home from five yards out to put Loyola up, 1-0.
The Greyhounds dominated the first half, outshooting the Spartans, 11-1.
Wade McHugh almost got Loyola on the board in the 18th minute, but his shot from the right-side of the box was sent high. Just a minute later, Bannister beat his defender and had a good look at the frame, but keeper Nate Berry made a sliding kick-save to clear the attempt.
Loyola took a 1-nil lead into intermission. In the second half though, UNC Greensboro showed why they are a team that has advanced to the NCAA Tournament four out of the last five years.
The Spartans had eight shots in the second, and got the equalizer at the 73:55 mark on a rebound goal by forward Nirav Kidam. Possessing the ball on the left side of the 18-yard box, UNCG's Jokull Elisabetarson cut toward the middle and fired a low, line-driven shot that Kocic blocked, but couldn't hold onto. Kidam was there though to hammer home the rebound from five yards out to notch the game, 1-1.
Neither team would find the net in the final 26 minutes of regulation, sending Loyola to its second consecutive overtime game in the NCAA College Cup.
But unlike last year against Maryland, when penalty kicks decided the match, the Spartans got the game-winner 2:11 into overtime on Maret's goal.
For the Greyhounds, who earned a No. 9 seed in the tournament and a first-round bye, the match puts the finishing touches on a spectacular season for the program. The 2008 team became the first since 1986 to assemble a perfect regular season (17-0-1), assembled a national-best 27-match unbeaten streak, and rose as high as No. 6 in the NSCAA/adidas national rankings.
"It's a game that escaped us. It's a very difficult loss for us because it is a game that we very could have won," said Mettrick.
"I don't think that we deserved this tonight," Kocic said. "We worked extremely hard all year and everybody gave their best. It is just an unlucky result. Loyola has a very good foundation to build on, though."