Dec. 2, 2010
Michigan travels to College Park, Md., to take on Maryland in the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship quarterfinals on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET. The 10th-seeded Wolverines (16-4-3) make their second national quarterfinal appearance and first since 2008 looking to advance to their first College Cup.
Michigan holds a 5-3-1 all-time record in the NCAA Championship, including a 2-0-0 mark in this year's tournament. The showdown with second-seeded Maryland (19-2-1) will be the first meeting between the teams.
Michigan enters Saturday's contest on an eight-match winning streak dating back to Oct. 27. The Wolverines boast one of the highest-powered offenses in the nation, averaging 2.13 goals per game this season, good for eighth in the country, and 3.00 goals per game over the last eight contests. Big Ten Freshman of the Year Soony Saad leads the way with 43 points on 19 goals and five assists, along with a Big Ten record 143 shots.
The Wolverines received the highest seed among Big Ten teams entering the NCAA Championship after winning the Big Ten Tournament and earning the conference's automatic bid. After a first-round bye, Michigan took down Central Florida, 2-1, in the second round. The Knights took a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute, but Justin Meram tied the match early in the second half, forcing an eventual overtime period. Latif Alashe tallied the game-winning goal in the 95th minute to push Michigan into the round of 16.
The Wolverines topped No. 7 South Carolina, 3-1, in the third round behind two goals from Meram and another from Saad. The teams went into halftime tied at 0-0, but Michigan scored three times in 17 minutes to take the lead for good. The Gamecocks scored their lone goal in the 84th minute, but the Wolverines held on to earn a spot in the quarterfinals.
Maryland defeated Pennsylvania, 4-0, in the second round before taking down No. 15 Penn State, 1-0, to advance to the quarterfinals. The Terrapins have won their last 15 matches, their last loss coming on Sept. 24.
With a win, Michigan would take on No. 3 Akron or No. 6 California in the semifinals of the 2010 NCAA College Cup on Dec. 10 in Santa Barbara, Calif. The national championship match is scheduled for Dec. 12 at 4 p.m. ET.