CARY, N.C. – Marc Burch’s deflected free kick gave Maryland a 1-0 win over New Mexico in the NCAA championship game, ending three years of frustration in which the Terrapins lost in the semifinals.

Maryland (19-4-2) broke through in the 30th minute when a foul on New Mexico’s David Gualdarama about 25 yards out gave the Terrapins a free kick. Burch fired a low, hard shot around the wall New Mexico set up. The ball nicked the foot of a Lobos defender, catching New Mexico goalkeeper Mike Graczyk leaning to his left and unable to get back to his right.

Top-seeded Maryland attacked and second-seeded New Mexico (18-2-3) counterpunched from the start of the College Cup final, and each had opportunities.

The Lobos’ best chance came just minutes after halftime when Jeff Rowland’s bicycle kick of a cross hit the outstretched hand of a Terrapins defender, giving New Mexico a point-blank penalty kick.

Andrew Boyens stepped up for the shot, but it was placed well short of the post and the ball caromed off the body of diving Terrapins goalkeeper Chris Seitz back to Boyens’ feet. The 6-foor-4 New Zealander missed the open net and fired high.

Maryland’s muscular forwards Jason Garey and Burch kept up the pressure by keeping the ball on the ground and attacking the Lobos’ tall, powerful defenders. The speed of New Mexico’s Blake Danaher forced two Terrapin defenders to commit intentional fouls, drawing two yellow cards in the first half.

The Lobos were outshot 19-11 but never stopped threatening until Maryland goalkeeper collected a missed header with 11 seconds left.

The Terrapins reached the semifinals the past three years and lost in suburban Los Angeles; Columbus, Ohio; and Dallas. This time, Maryland seniors played the 13th game of their careers in SAS Soccer Stadium in suburban Raleigh, home to Atlantic Coast Conference tournaments.

Maryland, won its first national soccer title since 1968, when it shared the title with Michigan State after the final ended tied 2-2 after two overtimes.

New Mexico was making its first appearance in a men’s soccer final. The school’s only national championship in a team sport was for skiing in 2004.

AP-ES-12-11-05 1629EST

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