COLLEGE PARK, Md – No. 5 seed Maryland benefited from a penalty kick goal from Patrick Mullins in the 70th minute as the Terps defeated Providence 3-1 in the second round of the 2013 NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship Sunday night at Ludwig Field.
The Terrapins (14-3-5) advanced to their nation-leading 12th straight NCAA Sweet Sixteen in an exciting match with the Friars (12-6-4). The two teams combined for 27 shots. Michael Sauers and Jake Pace also scored for Maryland.
Sauers opened the scoring in the 19th minute, slaloming through a couple Friar defenders before slotting his shot past keeper Keasel Broome.
Phil Towler evened the match in the 69th minute. The junior used the outside of his left foot to flick a Fabio Machado delivery over keeper Zack Steffen. It was the Terrapins’ first goal allowed since the final game of the regular season at Virginia Tech, a stretch spanning over 350 minutes.
The Terps struck back just a minute later. Mullins sent a slick back heel to Tsubasa Endoh, who was fouled trying to receive the ball. Mullins finished the ensuing spot kick for his team high 15th goal of the season. The senior is a perfect 9-for-9 on penalty kicks this season. His 42 career goals are tied for fourth all-time in Terrapin annals.
Sauers had a chance to grab an insurance goal for the Terps with 14 minutes to go. The freshman latched onto a pass in the box after a scramble, but the Providence defense combined to save his close range effort off the line.
Pace put away the match for Maryland with four minutes to go. The redshirt senior capitalized on some confusion in the Friar backline and put the ball past Broome on a breakaway for his sixth goal of the season.
The Maryland defense was once again solid for all 90 minutes. The backline dealt with a late Providence indirect free kick and snuffed out attacks all night.
“I’m extremely proud of our team. We started the game very brightly and I thought carried a lot chances early on and were probably a little unfortunate to not get a second or third goal,” head coach Sasho Cirovski said. “I give Providence a lot of credit for being resolute and finding the tying goal but our response couldn’t have been better. We raised it about three levels and created the penalty kick and stayed strong.”
The Terrapins will play in the NCAA third round next Sunday against UC Irvine. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. at Ludwig Field.