Since conceding four goals in an Oct. 19 loss to Wake Forest, freshman goalkeeper Zack Steffen and his Maryland back line have been a difficult nut to crack, allowing only two goals in a span of seven games that culminated with three straight clean sheets for the Downingtown native in the ACC tournament over the weekend. Shutout victories over Boston College, Clemson and Virginia gave the Terps their second straight ACC tournament title and sent them out of the ACC on top.
Steffen, who was named to the ACC all-freshman team, made one save in the championship game on Sunday and it came against former Union Academy teammate Darius Madison. Madison, a second team all-ACC selection, and his team made it to the championship game after winning one of the more exciting and improbable comebacks of the season in a Virginia win over Notre Dame last Friday. The Hoos trailed the Irish 3-1 with 10 minutes remaining when two of Madison's teammates scored a pair of goals two minutes apart to level the score and set up a penalty kick win after an overtime stalemate. Madison made the third penalty kick in the shootout.
Virginia was already the only team to score more than one goal in a game against Notre Dame - Madison had a brace in a 2-0 victory back on Oct. 26 - and the only team to beat the highly ranked Irish all season.
Freshman Zach Herstek contributed a penalty kick shootout goal of his own in the opening game against St. Joseph's in the Atlantic 10 tournament George Mason won to clinch an automatic NCAA tournament bid and opening round match with William & Mary today. Herstek, who was named to the Atlantic 10 all rookie team earlier in the week, also scored a goal in Mason's 3-2 overtime win over VCU to make it to the championship game they won 1-0 over St. Louis.
The all freshman team in the Big Ten had two players with Union ties in Penn State forward Connor Maloney and Michigan State midfielder Andrew Herr. Both will be playing in the NCAA tournament as Penn State has a first round date with St. Francis Brooklyn today and 11th seeded Michigan State faces the winner of the Louisville and Denver opening round match on Sunday.
Jared Martinelli made the second team all-conference XI in the American Athletic but Temple's 10-4-4 record wasn't enough to earn an NCAA berth. Georgetown defender Keegan Rosenberry was also honored with a second team all-conference selection in the Big East but his Hoyas were unable to outlast Providence in a penalty shootout after a 0-0 draw to make it to the Big East final at PPL Park on Sunday. Georgetown's stellar season was still good enough to earn a six seed and second round match-up with either Old Dominion or Drexel on Sunday.
Colton Storm's North Carolina Tar Heels have an opening round match with South Florida today, but Storm is a question mark having missed the last three games. Brandon Savino and Jelani Williams squeaked into the tournament field with St. John's and have an opening round match in Newark tonight with Delaware. Billy McConnell's Indiana Hoosiers are the biggest surprise in the tournament field and the only team with a losing record among the 48 after they won three straight games to win the Big Ten tournament. McConnell didn't see the field in the tournament and hasn't played for Indiana since starting at right back in a loss to Wisconsin on Oct. 11.
Alex Murphy's Penn Quakers qualified for the tournament with an auto bid after winning the Ivy League with a 2-0 final regular season win over Harvard. Murphy hasn't seen the field since he earned his first start of the season against Penn State on Oct. 29. Penn will play Providence today. The Shiiba brothers and Navy capped a successful season with a Patriot League tournament championship on Sunday and have a first round match with VCU today. Thomas Shiiba started in the final and came off the bench to play 40 minutes in the semi. Mark Shiiba hasn't seen the field since subbing into a game on Oct. 22.
Yale forward Cameron Kirdzik delivered two assists in his final game of the season, a 3-2 loss to Princeton. The Flemington, N.J., native finished the season second on the team in goals with 4 and second on the team in assists with 3 and was picked for the all-Ivy League second team. The season also came to an end for Duquesne goalkeeper Sam Frymier, La Salle midfielder Joe Farrell, Memphis defender Quincy Thomas, Fordham forward/midfielder Kyle Bitterman, James Madison goalkeeper Kyle Morton, Xavier defender Todd Pratzner, Colgate midfielder Colin O'neill and Monmouth defender Matt Jeffery.