PHILADLEPHIA - After a thrilling 1-0 win over Bucknell in overtime to start the 2010 NCAA Men's Soccer Championships, Penn heads to the No. 2 seed in the tournament - and three-time NCAA champion - Maryland on Sunday (5 p.m.) for a second-round contest in the quest for a national championship.
The Quakers advanced via a Christian Barreiro goal in the 92nd minute, giving Penn its ninth win in NCAA Championships history. The junior forward scored his fifth goals of the season, giving Penn its first win in NCAA Tournament play since a 1-0 win over Seton Hall in 2002.
The win over the Bison gives Penn 13 for the season and a 13-5-0 overall record. The 2010 team is now tied with the 1971 and 1973 teams for the second-most wins in a season. The 1972 team is the standard-bearer with 14 wins.
If the 2010 edition of the Quakers is to match that legendary '72 club, they will need to put together perhaps the biggest win in program history in College Park on Sunday evening. The Terrapins are one of the hottest teams in the country at the moment, riding a 13-match winning streak into the NCAA Championships. Included in that win streak are an ACC Tournament championship and a 36-4 scoring margin.
The Terps are in the NCAA Tournament for the 30th time in program history and are 42-24-4 in national tournament matches. Maryland has won it all three times, claiming titles in 1968, 2005 and 2008. When the Terps are in the tournament, they are not content to just be in the field as they have won eight consecutive second-round matches and are 11-4-1 overall in the second round. If the Terps need any reminding on what it is like to play deep in the NCAA Tournament, there are 11 players still on the team from the club that won the national title in '08.
Four of those 11 players who have huge impacts on Maryland's success are junior goalkeeper Zac MacMath, junior midfielder Matt Kassel, senior forward Jason Herrick and senior forward Casey Townsend.
MacMath has played every one of Maryland's 1825:49 in goal, with a 0.59 GAA and a .829 save% with 13 shutouts. Herrick and Kassel are tied for the team lead with 25 points this season. Herrick has 10 goals while Kassel has eight goals and nine assists. Townsend is right there with them at 21 total points (8-5-2).
All of the firepower (13 different players with at least one goal) adds up to 54 total goals in 2010 - the most by any team in the country. However, Penn is quite adept at keeping teams off the scoreboard.
The Quakers have allowed just 12 goals in 2010, and opponents have scored in just nine matches against Penn. Penn goalkeeper Ben Berg has nine shutouts this season and a stellar GAA of his own at 0.69. A veteran back four of Zach Barnett, Thomas Brandt, Jake Levin and Steven Schlaefer team up with Berg to keep pressure off the Penn defense (only 4.5 shots on goal per game).
Barreiro, the goal scorer in the first round match, is the hottest Penn player on offense entering the weekend. He has two goals and an assist over the last three games and a career-high 17 points in 2010. He has six career game-winning goals and is 3-for-3 in penalty kicks throughout his career.
Four Penn players will be returning to their home state for the match - Jake Levin (Columbia, Md.), Zach Barnett (Ellicott City, Md.), Christian Barreiro (Baltimore, Md.) and Nicky Yin (Bethesda, Md.) giving Penn a bit home local flavor in what is always a raucous, pro-Terps crowd at Ludwig Field.