November 19, 2012;College Par, MD, USA; Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney speaks during the Big Ten Press Conference at Adele Stamp Union. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
University of Maryland men’s soccer coach Sasho Cirovski welcomed another top tier recruiting class to College Park yesterday. After finishing last season in heartbreaking fashion against Georgetown, Maryland reloaded for another run to the College Cup. Per ToprawerSoccer.Com and UMTerps, Maryland’s recruiting class ranks 3rd in the country, and features two members of the U-18 USA Team.
Sasho Cirovski has built a winning tradition at Maryland in his 20 years as the head coach. Maryland has won 2 National Championships, made 17 straight postseason appearances, and have had two #1 overall picks in the MLS Superdraft. That’s just skimming the surface of what he has done for Maryland soccer. So it goes at no surprise that he was able to bring in another top class and that the goal for this season is a national championship.
Last year marked an unbelievable run for Maryland. They spent most of the year ranked #1 overall, and won the ACC regular season and conference tournament. They drew to UCLA and Clemson, and the only loss of the regular season came against Wake Forest. The dream of capturing a third national championship came to an unfortunate end at the hands Georgetown in shootout of the College Cup Semi-Finals. For anyone who missed the game, it was a wild finish to a great game. Georgetown outhustled Maryland for 80 minutes and led 4-2, but Maryland found the back of the next twice in the final 10 minutes to tie the game. After no one scored in extra time, the game went to penalties, and Georgetown came out on top.
Maryland is not only bringing in a top recruiting class, but they are also maintaining many of the players from last years team. MAC Herman Trophy Winner, Patrick Mullins is one the 7 returning starters for the 2013 campaign. Mullins is only the second Terp to win the MAC Herman Trophy (college soccer’s verision of the Heissman or Nasmith award). Mullins in the regular season connected on 12 goals, including 6 game winners. Of the returning players, three of them were first or second team All-ACC last season, and two were members of the All-ACC Freshman class.
Sasho stayed fairly local for this years class. Two of the 6 incoming freshman are from Maryland. Virginia, Ohio, Georgia, and Pennsylvania are home to the other four players. Suli Dainkeh and Zack Steffen headline the incoming class. Suli was a member of the U-18 USA Mens National Team and he was the 2012 Gatorade Player of the Year for Virginia. Suli was born in Sierra Leone, and grew up in nearby Reston, VA, he is a defensie minded midfielder who Sasho says could have an immediate impact on the backline. Zack Steffen, from Downingtown, PA, has been staple of the USA teams since he first apperared on the U-14 team. He was the starting keeper for the U-18 MNT, and has been called up to the U-20 team. TopDrawerSoccer.Com rated the 6’2″ Pennsylvania native the #1 goalkeeper in the class of 2013. He is joining a long line of successful goalkeepers at Maryland, the last taken in the MLS Super Draft was Zac MacMath in 2011 with the 5th overall pick.
The soccer team opens up next season with games in California, as they take on Stanford and Cal. Anyone looking for a fun Friday night activity should make the trip to College Park on September 6 when Maryland plays their home opener against…. DUKE! Sasho, the athletic department, and the students have created one of the best soccer atmospheres at Ludwig field. Once a year they bring in extra bleachers and attempt to break the stadium capcity record, this will most likely be that game, and one that will certainly have a great environment. Pittsburgh, Boston College, Wake Forest, and North Carolina State are the only other ACC teams traveling to Ludwig this season. New members of the ACC Notre Dame and Syracuse will host the Terrapins in their lone conference match-ups against each other. Maryland plays 6 teams who were ranked in the final TopDrawerSoccer.Com Top 25 rankings.
The expectations are high for the 2013 soccer season in College Park. Following a one loss seeason that ended a game early, this years Terrapins will be hungry to finish what they started. Joined by a great group of freshman and led by the top player in the country, the 2013 Terrapins have the possibility of going down as one of the best teams of coach Sasho Cirovski’s time at Maryland.
Men’s Soccer Season Opener is August 30th at Stanford. Home opener is September 6 vs Duke. For the full schedule check out UMTerps.Com As the season gets closer they will have information on TV coverage for some of the games.
PS For anyone wondering about the picture, it was the only picture I could find through our affiliate of Sasho Cirovski or anything Maryland Soccer Related.