#1 The Terps Have Depth
Maryland has really been flexing its muscles in the depth department recently, highlighted by Friday’s match at Virginia.
Head coach Sasho Cirovski utilized a season-high seven substitutes against the Cavaliers including freshmen Suli Dainkeh and Chris Odoi-Atsem, who replaced weary centerbacks Alex Crognale and Dakota Edwards. Dainkeh and Odoi-Atsem helped Maryland cap the match with 83 minutes of shutout soccer after a grueling conference road trip which included a midweek match at No. 2 Notre Dame.
Mikias Eticha aided in the relief effort in the midfield, earning his first start of the season at Virginia and notching a season-high in minutes against the Irish.
#2 Win, Draw or Draw
It appears no one is playing 90 minutes of soccer any more, with a plethora of overtime matches and ties occurring all over the college landscape in 2013. Maryland is no different.
Half of Maryland’s games this season have ended with bonus soccer. The Terps’ five draws this season match their 2007 mark when Maryland went 10-6-5 on the year. The program has had two additional five-draw seasons in 1974 (5-3-5) and 1987 (9-6-5) and has never recorded six.
#3 The Maryland-Virginia Border Battle Could Continue
Maryland and Virginia have squared off in a tremendous rivalry – one Cirovski calls ‘the best in college soccer’ - uninterrupted since 1954.
The numbers surely back this up. The two border programs have combined for eight of the last 24 NCAA championships and seven of the last 11 ACC titles. But with the Terps moving to the Big Ten, will the teams compete during the regular season after all is said and done in 2013?
“Hopefully we can continue to play with Virginia in the future because, in my view, it’s the best rivalry in college soccer,” Cirovski told reporters Friday night after a thrilling 3-3 draw in Charlottesville.
Virginia head coach George Gelnovatch echoed Cirovski. “We’ll definitely look at it in the future,” Gelnovatch said. “We’ll miss them, no question.”
Both programs have full schedules in 2014 but the pair appears to be working on a match in 2015.