1995 in Review
It was a year of anticipation and dreams fulfilled for the Maryland men's soccer team. Anticipation oftaking on the challenge of charging to the top. The dreams were many. Dreams such as finishing at the topof the Atlantic Coast Conference; winning the ACC Tournament; hosting the first and second rounds of theNCAA Tournament; and finally, making a trip to Richmond, Virginia, for the 1995 NCAA ChampionshipTournament. It was that national title that was to be the crowning glory of the Terrapins' dream season.
With goals and minds set, Maryland proceeded with its game plan. The players quickly pulled together toproduce one of the toughest and most balanced teams in the nation. A team that ripped through the season,finely executing what they had learned from an equally committed coaching staff. A team who advanced tothe "Sweet 16" of the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season. A team that finished with a4-1-1 conference record, good for a second-place finish, and its highest ACC finish since 1976. But whenthe final point of the season was scored, it came a little too soon for the Terps, whose dream endedprematurely in a grueling sudden-death overtime match against James Madison in the second round of theNCAA Championship. Yet despite the early ending, there was no denying that it was a great year forTerrapin soccer.
With co-captains Tod Herskovitz and Doug Smith guiding the way, Maryland remained steady among the topten teams in the nation. The Terps eased into the No. 2 spot on the Soccer America poll for the first timeever in program history. They quickly raced out to a 5-0-1 record, en route to a 13-6-2 overall record. Along the way, they defeated then-No. 17 N.C. State (2-0); then-No. 2 Duke (2-1); and then-No. 9 PennState (2-0). Seven of the 13 wins were shutouts, including one in ACC competition and one in NCAATournament play. Two Terps earned All-ACC honors with Leo Cullen garnering first-team honors andHerskovitz named to the second-team.
As the season progressed, the accolades continued to pour in. Shane Dougherty was named to the SoccerAmerica Men's Team of the Week after scoring the overtime goal that gave the Terps a 2-2 tie withthen-top-ranked Virginia. A week later Pierre Venditti collected Team of the Week honors after scoringboth goals in the Terps' win over then-No. 17 ranked N.C. State. Herskovitz continued to collect morehonors as he was named a second-team Soccer News All-America.
The Terps ended the year ranked 15th after never failing to appear in the polls all season long. And afterall was said and done, Maryland fans could look back upon the season, smile, and exclaim that without adoubt, 1995 was a year of dreams fulfilled.