GERMANTOWN, Md. - Top-seeded, second-ranked Maryland scored late in regulation and then scored on an own-goal off a corner kick deflection in the second overtime period to defeat Clemson 2-1 in the semifinals of the ACC men's soccer tournament at the Maryland SoccerPlex on Friday.
Maryland improved to 16-1-2 overall, while Clemson fell to 6-9-5. The Tigers were seeded fourth in the tournament, the best seed since the 2001 season. It was also the first time the Tigers reached the semifinal round since the 2005 season.
The Terrapins came into the tournament as the top seed. The two teams played to a 2-2 draw in the regular season at College Park when Maryland was ranked No. 1 in the nation. Last year, Clemson defeated the number-one ranked Terrapins at Riggs Field.
“I thought we played exceptionally well and hard,” said Clemson coach Mike Noonan. “We couldn’t sustain our level of play for the full 90 minutes. Maryland is a little deeper than we are, and we conceded a goal late in regulation.”
Clemson scored first at the 23:28 mark in the game. Manolo Sanchez sent a hard, direct cross to Ara Amirkhanian who headed the ball in for his fifth goal of the year.
The Clemson defense played stingily and kept the number-two ranked team at bay until the closing minutes of regulation.
Maryland pulled even in the 83rd minute when ACC player of the year Patrick Mullins scored his 13th goal of the year with assists by Schillo Tshuma and Jake Pace. Mullins scored from five yards out.
After a shot-less first overtime period, Maryland had a corner kick early in the second overtime period and was able to end the game from this opportunity.
The golden goal came in the 103rd minute when Maryland’s Helge Leikvang served a corner kick into the box and the ball deflected hard off of a Clemson defender and into the goal.
“Maryland is an outstanding team.," said Noonan. "Good teams like Maryland find ways to win these types of games and we are still learning these lessons. Sometimes the breaks do not go your way."
"I'm really proud of our team that we found a way to get the result in this game," said Maryland coach Sasho Cirovski, who earned the 300th victory of his career. "(The first half) was was arguably our worst first half in a high quality game all year. However, I believe in this team and we made some adjustments and the players rose to a high level.
"I thought we played very well in the second half and were more aggressive and our skill level was higher and we felt very confident that we were going to get not only the tying goal but the winning goal and we just continued to persevere through the overtime.
"I have to give Clemson a tremendous amount of credit," he added. "They battled us and pushed us twice now." "
Maryland outshot the Tigers 14-12, and the Terrapins added most of their second half shots in the last 10 minutes of the game. Clemson goalkeeper Cody Mizell made three saves, while the Maryland keeper Keith Cardona also had three.
Clemson—Ara Amirkhanian (Manolo Sanchez) 23:28
Maryland—Patrick Mullins (Schillo Tshuma and Jake Pace) 83:29
Maryland—Own Goal 102:18
Shots: Clemson 12, Maryland 14
Corner Kicks: Clemson 3, Maryland 5
Saves: Cody Mizell (CU) 3, Keith Cardona (MD) 3
Fouls: Clemson 11, Maryland 12