GERMANTOWN, Md. – Top-seeded Maryland defeated No. 2 North Carolina 2-1 to win its third title in five seasons Sunday afternoon at the 2012 ACC Men’s Soccer Championship.
The Terps (17-1-2) picked up goals from freshmen Dakota Edwards and Schillo Tshuma to win their fifth overall conference tournament crown (1996, 2002, 2008, 2010, and 2012) in front of 9,341 fans at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
Edwards, after a subpar semifinal match, rose to the occasion in the title contest, notching Maryland’s opening score in the 11th minute. The defender grabbed a corner kick from Dan Metzger and muscled his way to a goal to the lower left from two yards. It was the first goal North Carolina (15-3-2) had surrendered since Tshuma tallied the game-winner in overtime in the earlier meeting between the two teams on Oct. 19 in College Park.
Maryland would continue to put the defending national champions on their heels throughout the first half, winning the shot battle 6-1.
Tshuma put the Terps on top 2-0 in the 62nd minute with an incredibly angled strike from the near sideline off a throw-in from Mikey Ambrose. It was the rookie’s eighth goal in 2012.
UNC forward Rob Lovejoy sliced the lead in half with 4:32 remaining but a calm and collected defensive effort held on for the win.
“I’ll cherish this one forever and I think our alumni and fans will as well,” head coach Sasho Cirovski said. “Today we played a great game, our best of the game of the year. I thought today we were very sharp in all phases of the game and deserved the victory against one of the great teams in soccer and certainly the best defensive team we’ve seen in the nation.”
2012 ACC Offensive Player of the Year Patrick Mullins was tabbed the ACC Championship Tournament Most Valuable Player and was joined on the all-tournament squad by John Stertzer, London Woodberry, Tshuma and Edwards.
Maryland will find out its NCAA tournament destiny Monday at 5:30 p.m. when the bracket is announced on NCAA.com