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Maryland Holds Off No. 10 Harvard, 2-0, in NCAA Third-Round Contest

Pictured: Baba Omosegbon (No. 6) fired two shots on net Sunday.
Photo courtesy: Alexios Nicolaos Monopolis


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- The 10th-ranked Harvard men’s soccer team suffered a 2-0 loss to Maryland in a third-round matchup of the 2009 NCAA tournament, held Sunday afternoon before 1,926 fans at Ohiri Field. Austin Harms made six saves in net for the Crimson, while Andre Akpan and Baba Omosegbon fired two shots on net apiece.

Maryland converted on the game’s first true scoring opportunity, as Casey Townsend converted a cross pass in the box at 10:45. Taylor Kemp played a bounching pass from right side near the end line, directly to Townsend. Townsend chipped a shot with his left foot that sailed over Harm’s hands and just underneath the crossbar, giving Maryland a 1-0 lead.

Later in the half, Maryland goalkeeper Zac MacMath pulled down Akpan in the box, creating a penalty kick chance for the Crimson co-captain. Akpan took a low, line drive shot to the right side on the penalty kick, but MacMath timed the ball perfectly, making the save. The shot created a long rebound back to Akpan, but his second attempt on net was also turned aside by MacMath. Through the first 45 minutes, Harvard enjoyed a 7-3 advantage in shots.

The Terrapins increased their lead to two goals when Billy Cortes placed a shot inside the far post from 30 yards out on the left side at 77:22. The Crimson pressed for a goal in the waning minutes of the contest but the Maryland defense would not surrender. Harvard had two quality chances in the final 10 minutes of the game. Freshman Richard Smith had his header pushed high over the crossbar by MacMath. Moments later, fellow rookie Brian Rogers one-timed a cross on the doorstep, but the ball sailed over the crossbar.

Maryland outshot Harvard, 12-5, in the second half to hold a 15-12 lead in shots for the game, while the Crimson held the edge in corner kicks, 2-1. Harvard concludes its season 14-4-1 overall record, while Maryland advances to the quarterfinals with a 15-5-2 mark.