HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — Georgetown goalkeeper Tomas Gomez blocked Helge Leikvang’s shot in the final round of a shootout, lifting the Hoyas over Maryland 4-3 on penalty kicks Friday night following a 4-4 tie in the NCAA soccer semifinals.
Georgetown (20-3-2) beat Maryland (20-2-2) for the first time in 29 tries and will face Creighton or Indiana in Sunday’s final.
Maryland scored twice in a 3 1/2-minute span late in the second half to tie it at 4.
Maryland held a 3-2 lead through the first three rounds of the penalty kicks, but the Hoyas rallied for a 4-3 lead and won when Gomez dove to his left to stop Leikvang’s shot.
“I just had a hunch to go there, and it worked out,” Gomez said.
Steve Neumann scored three goals for the Hoyas, including two in a 1:31 span to give Georgetown a 2-1 halftime lead. It was the first hat trick in the College Cup since 1993.
“You always dream about having games like that on big stages like this,” Neumann said. “It’s an unbelievable feeling and something I’ll cherish the rest of my life.”
Neumann made it 4-2 with 30 minutes left in regulation, but Maryland tied it on goals by Patrick Mullins and Christiano Francois.
“You’re never going to feel secure with a two-goal lead against a team like Maryland,” Georgetown coach Brian Wiese said. “There were several times in the second half when Maryland could have chucked it, and they never did. They showed tremendous resilience.”
Maryland outshot Georgetown 18-12, including five shots in the final 12 minutes of regulation after tying it.
“I don’t think we ever for a moment thought that we weren’t going to come back and win,” said Maryland’s Patrick Mullins, who had a goal and two assists. “We just knew somebody was going to find a way to get us that one goal. We had some decent chances at the end.”
The eight goals tied for the second-most in College Cup history. It also marked the first time a team has scored four goals in a College Cup game since 2006.
The Terrapins had given up a total of only four goals in their past four games combined.
“Our defending let us down,” Maryland coach Sasho Cirovski said. “It’s very difficult to cope with the reality that we’re not advancing and playing on Sunday. We just came up a little empty.”
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)