Fresh off being bumped up to the #2 national ranking, the Terps will kick off their ACC season opener Friday night at Ludwig Field against their toughest matchup yet, #8 Boston College Eagles.
Maryland (4-0) is riding high after putting together four dominate wins, their latest a 2-1 victory over Radford, which secured head coach Sasho Cirvoski his career 300th win. As the matches come and go, the Terps have been improving, a concern heading into the season with so much to replace from the 2010 team.
The offense for one has not lost a step, leading the ACC in goals with 12. Casey Townsend and Patrick Mullins are living up to their hype as one of the top forward tandems in the country, each with four and three goals respectively. The attack has also received some surprising help from the midfield in John Stertzer, who has come out of nowhere with three goals and three assists.
And the appeal for Friday night’s top ten matchup will be a showcase of offense.
Boston College (4-0) fields an attack just as potent as the Terrapins, being tied with them at the top of the league standing in goals as well. They too also poses a very lethal attack in Amit Aburmad (4 goals), Charlie Rugg (3 goals) and midfielder Kyle Bekker ( 3 goals, 2 assists).
Talk about mirror image.
The Eagles are also coming of a convincing 2-0 blanking of #22 Dartmouth. Their national rise has been impressive after starting the season #25 before steadily climbing into the top ten. No doubt BC is looking for that signature win to let college soccer know they are a legitimate title contender and let’s face it a road win against the #2 Terps would do just that.
And this pivotal matchup will come down to one aspect: shots.
Both squads boast strong defenses (top five in goals allowed) and are anchored by experienced keepers (senior Terp goalie Will Swaim and junior Justin Luthy). With this in mind, the team that is able to create the most pressure will have the advantage throughout the match because of occasional lapses.
Maryland has been known to give up a soft goal or two (Radford, WVU), while Boston College gave up three goals in their first two games. And as we know, it only takes one goal to change the whole mood of the game.
I’m talking to you Mr. Mullins.
So let’s see how the Terps handle the pressure of being #2, let’s see how they handle an identical team and let’s see which team (first of second half) shows up Friday. Whichever way, it’s sure to be exciting.
Opponent’s Record: (4-0)
Terp’s Record: (4-0)
Time: 7 pm.
Where: Ludwig Field (College Park, MD)
Media: Listen Live @ wmucsports.com
Prediction: Diving into my shots theory, the Terps hold the advantage, having shot 59 times and allowing only 30. BC on the other hand has taken 46 and giving up 41. Giving up a platter of shots for the Terps is a sure way to go home with a loss, so I’m taking Maryland in a 2-1 nail biter. Mullins scores along with Sunny Jane (it’s got to happen sometime!).