Aug. 22, 2011
Watch Terps Hype Video!
Season Preview: Midfield
Season Preview: Forwards
LIKE! Maryland Athletics on Facebook
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -
Part three of the 2011 Maryland men's soccer season preview focuses on the defense. The Terps will have a (sort of) new starting goalkeeper and one back line spot up for grabs. Senior Alex Lee breaks it all down.
On being a senior:
SENIOR 5'10" - 159
- Former forward that is now in his second season as a starter at center back
- Joins Casey Townsend as a captain on this year's squad
- Helped lead Maryland to a program-best 15 shutouts in 2010
- Has an identical twin brother, Justin, who plays for Penn State
- Also a great basketball player, led Magruder to the state championship game as a junior as the starting point guard and set high school records for most assists in a season and career
"It's crazy. These years have just gone by so fast. I just remember myself coming in as a freshman and Michael Marchiano and A.J. Delagarza were the seniors. Now I'm here in their spot and we have freshmen coming in. It's pretty crazy. I feel like I'm a pretty good leader and I just want to do as much as I can to help the team be successful."
On his comfort in the center back role:
"I'm still learning the position but I get more work every practice and every day so I feel pretty comfortable. I thought I did a pretty good job there last year and hopefully I can do the same thing this year."
On this year's defense and losing MacMath and White:
"Obviously [Zac MacMath and Ethan White] are huge losses. Zac [MacMath] is probably the best soccer player I've ever played with and Ethan [White] is by far the most athletic player I've ever played with, so it's definitely going to be tough. But, we have experience - London [Woodberry] has started a lot and Taylor [Kemp] has started since he's been here - and then there's a spot left in the back up for grabs. I'm pretty confident that we're going to be able to pull together and have a great year in the back."
On team expectations for this season:
"Obviously we want to win it all. I think we can contend for a National championship and an ACC championship, so I'm definitely going to hope for the best. I would be upset if we didn't win both."
On what he took from last year's quarterfinal loss to Michigan:
"We realized - well, we knew - that we saw how important it was to just pay attention to detail. Small things make huge differences in games. We just had three small breakdowns and they all led to goals, so it's those little things that can cost you a game."
On this season's schedule:
"I'm excited to play the Stanford game considering it is on national television. I love all the Friday games. They all have pretty good crowds and are pretty exciting."
On playing at Ludwig Field:
"[I'm going to miss] the atmosphere. [Ludwig Field] is an amazing place to play. I've never experienced anything like it and I may never experience anything like it again. Just playing for your school and having all your fans behind you, there's nothing like it."
NOTES ON THE DEFENSE:
Three-year starting goalkeeper Zac MacMath was drafted by the Philadelphia Union with the fifth pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft. Two-year starting center back Ethan White signed a homegrown contract with D.C. United following the 2010 campaign.
Look for London Woodberry to start full-time at outside back, replacing Greg Young, and a cast of players to audition throughout the preseason and early in the 2011 slate to fill White's spot in center back. Players aiming to fill that void in the middle include redshirt freshman Marquez Fernandez and Canadian U-17 national team product Parker Seymour.
Taylor Kemp returns for his third season as a starter at outside back. The junior has improved every season since his arrival to College Park. His full volley to defeat Penn State in the third round of the NCAA Tournament will be remembered at Maryland for some time to come. I don't believe head coach Sasho Cirovski would be shocked to see more goals from Kemp in 2011.
Alex Lee will seal up the middle once again this season after helping the Terps tally a program-best 15 shutouts in 2010. A very athletic defender, Lee will have an increased role in communication both on and off the field while serving as a captain for this year's unit.
Redshirt senior Will Swaim will enter the season on top of the depth chart at goalkeeper. Swaim was a starter as a freshman and a part-time starter as a sophomore before MacMath took over the reins. Swaim was arguably the best reserve goalkeeper in the country for three seasons and will be looking to close out his career on top. Keith Cardona and Jordan Tatum will also compete for playing time and gain experience under the veteran Swaim.