Virginia advances to NCAA men's soccer final
Dec. 13, 2014
CARY, N.C. (AP) — Darius Madison scored in the fifth minute, and Virginia beat Maryland-Baltimore County 1-0 on Friday to reach the NCAA College Cup final.
The Cavaliers (13-6-3) will play UCLA on Sunday. In the second semifinal, UCLA beat Providence 3-2 on Chase Gasper's goal in the second overtime.
Virginia is seeking its sixth title following four championships under coach Bruce Arena from 1991-94 and one under current coach George Gelnovatch in 2009.
"It's a team mentality of not conceding," Gelnovatch said. "We're very, very resolute."
Pablo Aguilar gained possession from UMBC's Marquez Fernandez just outside the penalty area and passed to Madison, whose low, right-footed shot beat diving goalkeeper Billy Heavner.
"It changed the outlook tremendously," Madison said. "I think it did wonders for us because we're always defense first. It allowed us to sit back and relax and just focus on our tactics more."
The Retrievers (14-6-5) were unbeaten in 10 games and hadn't allowed a goal in their first four NCAA tournament games before Madison broke through.
"That caught us a little off guard," UMBC coach Pete Caringi said. "But I thought in the second half, by our play, we really took it to them and continued to attack and obviously ran out of time."
Virginia goalkeeper Calle Brown made one save and withstood nine corner kicks in his ninth shutout of the season.
Aside from an early flurry by Virginia in each half that included Madison's goal and a few threatening crosses, UMBC controlled the run of play.
The Retrievers earned five corner kicks in the first half, the first of which led to their lone shot on goal in the match. Brown saved Malcolm Harris' blast from the right side just outside the box.
UMBC's Kay Banjo also hit the side of the net after collecting a loose ball in the box midway through the second half.
"We had opportunities," Banjo said. "We just didn't put them away."
Virginia, a perennial power, is making its 12th appearance in the College Cup. The Cavaliers have a chance for redemption after losing to Maryland 2-1 in the semifinals last year.
The Retrievers, meanwhile, were making their school's first appearance in a national semifinal in any sport. They also were the first America East team to reach the College Cup and the first unseeded team to do so since Massachusetts in 2007.
(A previous version of this story incorrectly listed UMBC's record as 14-5-5.)