This is the third part of a four-part series that will preview the 2013 Maryland women's soccer team. In the first two part fans were introduced to the goalkeepers and the defenders. Today the Terrapins’ midfield is in the spotlight.
Part 3: Midfield
The Maryland midfield will look a bit different this season with long-time standouts Danielle Hubka and Olivia Wagner no longer on the field, but Terp fans will certainly be familiar with the trio of offensive midfielders head coach Jonathan Morgan will roll out.
“We couldn’t be more excited to have Ashley [Spivey], Riley [Barger] and Aubrey [Baker] back in the midfield,” said Morgan. “These three sophomores are all exceptional talents and compliment each other tremendously. Each of them can play all three attacking midfield positions, so it gives us a great deal of flexibility.”
Spivey showed why she was one of the most highly-touted freshmen in the nation last season with five goals and three assists. One of just two Terps to start all 23 games in 2012, Spivey was named to the ACC’s All-Freshman Team.
Barger played in 20 matches as a freshman with 14 starts to her credit, while Baker saw action in all 23 games and earned a spot in the starting lineup in the final five matches of the season.
The offensive midfield could get a boost from redshirt sophomore Alex Doody, who missed all of last season due to injury. Doody’s health is progressing and could be ready to contribute sooner than later as her fitness improves.
Senior Alex Reed, who played a big part in the Terrapin offense last season, is a question mark after undergoing surgery.
The holding center midfield position is being competed for fiercely with four Terps contending for playing time.
Sophomores Erika Joab and Sarah Molina are neck and neck with each other to open the season, while sophomore Sarah Fichtner could see time in the midfield or on the back line when she is completely healthy and fit. Freshman Maren Knudsen, a member of the Norwegian U20 National Team, who joined the team in the spring, will also figure into the mix when she recovers from minor surgery.
“The midfield should be a strong group for us this fall," said Morgan. "We expect them to be able to dictate and control the tempo of our team’s possession. There’s plenty of depth and plenty of experience within this line. I anticipate a lot of production to come from these players.”