Maryland-Georgetown meet in men’s College Cup

The Georgetown men’s soccer team has already managed one first

by making the NCAA College Cup.

Now, the third-seeded Hoyas are aiming for another big milestone

when they meet neighboring traditional power No. 2 Maryland – which

has won all 28 previous countable meetings – Friday in the

semifinal match between two schools located about 12 miles apart.

They haven’t met since 2009 other than a preseason match a year

ago, which Georgetown won.

”It didn’t count, but the majority of these guys’ only

experience against Maryland is that we won,” Hoyas coach Brian

Wiese said. ”They’re not walking in here saying, `This is an

untamable lion.’ History’s on their side, right?

”Hopefully 29th game lucky. That’s what we’re banking on.”

The winner of that Washington, D.C.-area matchup faces either

No. 8 seed Creighton (17-3-3) or No. 16 Indiana (14-5-3) for the

championship on Sunday.

The Hoyas (19-3-2) had won only four NCAA tournament matches

before advancing with victories over UNC Charlotte and San Diego

and a 1-1 third-round tie with Syracuse.

Wiese and his players clearly aren’t harping much on the

one-sided history with the Terrapins (20-1-2).

”Despite the history, it’s going to be a good game,”

midfielder Ian Christianson said. ”We don’t worry about it too

much.”

This is Maryland’s 12th College Cup but first since winning

national title No. 3 in 2008.

The Terrapins are led by Patrick Mullins, a finalist for the MAC

Hermann Trophy given to the nation’s top player. Mullins has

produced 16 goals for the team that leads the nation in

scoring.

He’s happy with the first-round matchup, even if it required

such a long journey to arrange it.

”We love it,” Mullins said. ”We’re glad to be down here

playing a local rival for us.”

Maryland coach Sasho Cirovski made it clear this was his team’s

intended destination by having ”Sweet Home Alabama” blare over

the loudspeakers after home wins this season.

”It’s become a favorite,” Terrapins defender Taylor Kemp said.

”We’re not sick of it at all. If we’re able to hear that song at

the end of the game, we know we did a good job.”

Kemp has had a tough road to get here. He has only played in 11

games and traveled to Germany in mid-October for surgery to repair

a sports hernia.

The other semifinal game features teams that had to win a pair

of road games to advance.

Creighton earned its second straight College Cup appearance by

snapping Connecticut’s 38-match home winning streak with a 1-0 win

on Christian Blandon’s goal with 90 seconds left.

Creighton’s only previous College Cup victory was a 2-1

triple-overtime win over Indiana in 2000. Midfielder Jose Gomes and

Notre Dame forward Ryan Finley are the other MAC Hermann

finalists.

The Hoosiers have a record 81 NCAA tournament wins and won their

second straight championship and fourth in seven years in 2004.

”There’s no level of intimidation because that happened in the

90s,” said Creighton coach Elmar Bolowich, who is 4-1 against

Indiana. ”Some of our guys weren’t even born then. I don’t see

that being a factor.”

Indiana coach Todd Yeagley was hired at his alma mater in 2009

and has quickly gotten the program back to the College Cup.

He can draw on his own experience as a four-time All-American

who helped lead the Hoosiers to the championship game in 1994 and

the semifinals three years earlier.

”I’m just trying to tell them to enjoy it,” Yeagley said. ”I

know that when I was a player, that was something my coach said was

to take it all in, enjoy it, play loose. You’re here because you

put a body of work together.

”Now, it’s just, leave everything you’ve got out there on this

field and enjoy the experience.”