SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Amar Sejdic scored on a penalty kick in the 57th minute to lift the Maryland Terrapins (13-6-4) past the Akron Zips (15-7-2), 1-0, in Sunday’s NCAA Championship game.
“I could not be more proud of this group,” head coach Sasho Cirovski said. “We talked about this being a big moment for our program. They were pushed and hardened after a challenging schedule. And now, they’re jewels. I am incredibly happy for them.”
Maryland’s back line did not allow a goal in 450 minutes of tournament action to propel the Terrapins to their fourth national title in program history. It is also the third championship victory under head coach Sasho Cirovski, who previously led Maryland to triumphs in 2005 and 2008.
Sejdic’s goal came after Johannes Bergmann was taken down in the box off a high boot. The senior captain then deposited the penalty into the bottom left corner of the net for what would be the game-winning goal.
Maryland’s back line, led by the strong play of goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair, then held strong in the final 30 minutes of the match. The Zips were able to tally five second-half shots, but St. Clair was up to the task, making two crucial saves to keep the Terrapin lead in tact.
“We’re brothers,” St. Clair said. “We’re so close. The relationship this team has is sensational, and I think that’s why we’re sitting here today.”
“Within us, we’ve been through it all,” Sejdic said. “It means so much to me to wear the captain’s armband for this university. And it’s an honor for us to be able to lift up this trophy.”
Sejdic’s efforts earned him College Cup’s Most Outstanding Player honors.