This is the first part of a four-part series that will preview the 2013 Maryland women's soccer team. Fans will be introduced to the goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and forwards that will look to lead the Terps to the program’s fifth-consecutive NCAA tournament bid.
Part 1: Goalkeepers
Most programs are fortunate to come into a season with one established keeper, but the Terps have the luxury to enter the 2013 season with not one, but two solid goalkeepers.
Rachelle Beanlands is a third-year sophomore and the incumbent starter after posting a 1.07 goals-against average with four shutouts to her credit as a redshirt freshman in 2012.
Last season Beanlands was charged with helping lead a young Terp defense that had a pair of freshmen starting on the left side, a sophomore with just four collegiate games of experience play the majority of the season at right back and a senior move to play centerback despite never even practicing at the position prior to moving there during an early season game.
This year, Beanlands will enjoy a more veteran presence in front of her, but has also grown into a leadership role and head coach Jonathan Morgan believes she has the confidence to grab ahold of the defense and make it hers.
“Rachelle has really grown and matured since last season,” said Morgan, “and you can really see that in how she carries herself. Her presence has improved and with that she has taken a more vocal role with the defense.”
Maryland’s other keeper, junior Kristene Mumby, has also shown considerable growth since coming to College Park from West Virginia prior to the 2012 season.
Mumby’s progress isn’t lost on Morgan, who knows it’s important to have a capable backup ready to step in at a moments notice.
“Your backup keeper is always just one play away from having to step onto the field,” said Morgan. “Kristene isn’t your typical reserve as she continues to push and play like she’s the starter. She’s very athletic and has good range. She also has terrific hands and catches everything she can get to.”
While it’s unlikely Maryland will be pressed into an inexperienced backline like it was last season, the Terps’ keepers know they will be tested by some of the best attacking teams in the nation, but Beanlands and Mumby appear up to the task of helping keep the Terrapins, who also boast an explosive offense, in every game this season.