We continue our preview of Maryland’s 2010 women’s soccer season with storylines 4-2.
4 – Center back battle
Mallory Baker has one of the two center back positions claimed. The other two, however, is a battle between senior Colleen Deegan and junior Skyy Anderson. Anderson started the first 17 games of the year at center back last season, but was injured and missed the remainder of the year. Deegan came in for her and really impressed the coaches, leaving the Terps with two great center backs for one position. Either way, the other will get plenty of playing time off the bench, but it will be interesting to see how this battle plays out early in the season.
3 – Wide Backs
Two of Maryland’s three graduating starters were the Terps’ two wide backs, Megan Watson and Brittany Cummins, who put together great careers at College Park. Replacing them on the outside is going to be a struggle for Maryland. Coach Pensky hopes midfielders Caitlin McDowell and Megan Gibbons will be able to play defense this year, and he seems very confident in their ability to switch positions. Wide back is one of the most important positions on the pitch, being it critical on both offense and defense. As McDowell and Gibbons are both converted midfielders, it’s unlikely Pensky is concerned with their ability to attack from the outside. We’ll have to see whether they can keep up with forwards and midfielders on the outside while playing defense.
2 – Staying Healthy
This is obviously true for any team in any sport, but the Terps need to stay healthy to win. Luckily, they have an incredible amount of depth behind them, so if players get injured, they have options. However, their only chance to compete for the ACC Title is if their first team stays healthy consistently throughout the year, allowing the team to grow together and play together with the same lineup.
Hopefully tomorrow (I might not have internet), we’ll have the #1 storyline up with our prediction and projected lineup. If not tomorrow, the next day.