Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Domenic Mediate was back in a usual position last night — the role of hero in a postseason game for the Maryland men’s soccer team.

Mediate scored twice as part of an early second-half barrage as the third-seeded Terrapins pummeled Hofstra 4-0 in the second round of the NCAA tournament before 1,085 at Ludwig Field.

Maryland (16-5-1), which advanced to the round of 16 and will play host to Creighton on Sunday, moved within two games of its third consecutive final four appearance.

Mediate was a key part of the Terps’ offense the last two seasons, particularly in 2002, when he scored four postseason goals, including three game-winners. The senior midfielder was just as effective last night.

“I’ve really enjoyed the tournament time,” Mediate said. “It’s what you work all year for. This year especially, every game is my last game now, so I was really pumped up to play today. Everyone played hard the whole game, and we put together pretty much a complete game.”

After threatening to score for more than a half, the Terps finally took the lead late in the 49th minute. Forward Abe Thompson drew the defense as he charged down the right side. He sent a pass down the sideline to defender Chris Lancos, who fired a 40-yard cross to the left side of the box. Hofstra keeper Matthias Gumbrecht was distracted by forward Jason Garey’s charge, allowing Mediate to collect the pass and deposit a 10-yard shot into the right corner.

Three minutes later, Maryland put it away. Garey again charged in from midfield, drawing Gumbrecht out of the goal mouth. Gumbrecht managed to deflect Garey’s shot, but Mediate snared the rebound and put it back for a 2-0 lead.

The Terps remained aggressive against the overwhelmed Pride and used their stifling defense to create two more goals. Stephen King scored off a turnover from the right side in the 53rd minute, and Garey tacked on a 16-yard dart in the 59th minute after Lancos stole the ball at midfield and sent a pass toward the box.

“I just thought our defensive pressure just wore Hofstra down,” Maryland coach Sasho Cirovski said. “A lot of our good chances came off of our good pressure. We also moved the ball very quickly. You saw how explosive this team can be in a short period of time.”

The outburst quickly doused the upset hopes of the Pride (12-10-1), who spent much of the first half fending off the voracious Maryland offense. Nevertheless, the plucky visitors had held their own — for 45 minutes.

“They were quick all over the field and technical and strong and well-disciplined,” Hofstra coach Richard Nuttall said. “I thought we were playing against Man United.”

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