Maryland Men's Soccer Starts Year At No. 16 In NSCAA Poll
July 24, 2000
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The Maryland men's soccer team has been voted the No. 16 team in the nation according to the National Soccer Coaches' Association of America preseason poll. The Terrapins compiled a record-tying 14 regular season wins during the 1999 season, and spent two weeks as Soccer America's No. 1 team in the country.
This season the Terrapins will face eight teams ranked in the Top 25, including playing host to defending national champion and preseason No. 1 Indiana on Sept. 8 in College Park. Then-No. 2 Maryland met then-No. 1 Indiana last season in both team's season openers in Bloomington, Ind., with the Terps surrendering a 1-0 win to the Hoosiers. No. 1 Indiana will join No. 10 Virginia and the No. 16 Terrapins for what is perhaps the top tournament in the country - the FILA/Maryland Classic on Sept. 8-10.
Other match-ups on the Terrapin schedule with ranked teams include four Atlantic Coast Conference tilts. Always a powerful conference in collegiate men's soccer, the ACC has more teams ranked in the preseason NSCAA poll then any other conference and start the season with five Top 25 teams. Maryland will host two of the ACC's ranked teams in No. 7 Duke (Sept. 24) and No. 24 North Carolina (Oct. 7). The Terps travel to meet the other two, No. 11 Wake Forest on Sept. 30, and No. 10 Virginia to end the regular season on Nov. 3. The remaining ranked teams on the Terps' schedule include an exhibition meeting with No. 15 St. John's on Aug. 25, a Sept. 13 meeting with UMBC and an away match-up with No. 25 Virginia Commonwealth on Oct. 14.
The Terps return a strong line-up despite the departure of All-Americans Taylor Twellman and Dan Califf to the professional ranks. Junior captains Nick Downing (Redmond, Wash.) and Beckett Hollenbach (Havertown, Pa.) join senior starter Mike Shebuski (Bloomington, Minn.) on defense for Maryland. Two-year starter senior Christian Lewis (Ellicott City, Md.) also returns in goal for the Terrapins after undergoing off-season back surgery. Senior and two-year starter Rob Birch (West Islip, N.Y.) will anchor the midfield with a host of underclassmen meshing together to provide the offensive firepower the Terps will need to climb in the standings. This season, the Terps' are looking for their seventh consecutive NCAA Tournament bid, and another run at the College Cup, which will be contested on Dec. 8 and 10 in Charlotte, N.C.
Maryland's starts its 2000 schedule with the FILA/Maryland Preseason College Kick-off exhibition tournament, which will include Georgetown, No. 15 St. John's and No. 10 Virginia on Aug. 25-26. The Terps' regular season slate begins in Charlottesville at the Virginia/Coca-Cola Classic Tournament on Sept. 1-3. Maryland will meet Jacksonville and South Florida at that tournament before returning home to host the FILA/Maryland Classic on Sept. 8-10 with No.1 Indiana, No. 10 Virginia and South Carolina.
2000 NSCAA Preseason Poll