Sept. 10, 2009
Ticket Information | Listen Live on WMUC
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -
The No. 7 Maryland men's soccer team opens up conference play Friday when it plays host to Boston College at 8 p.m. under the lights at Ludwig Field.
The Terps (1-1) took on a tough task to open the season, battling a pair of nationally-ranked foes. Despite a solid outing, Maryland fell to defending Pac-10 champion UCLA, 2-0, on Friday night in front of a record-crowd of 6,718. The Terps rallied two days later to drop No. 8 California, 2-1, in rainy overtime contest. Junior co-captain Jason Herrick netted both goals, including the game-winner in the 97th minute, despite dismal playing conditions.
Boston College (1-2) heads to College Park this weekend after losing to Harvard on Monday. In its first three games of the young 2009 season, the Eagles have out-shot their opponents, 47-29. Kyle Bekker and Kevin Mejia have scored Boston College's two goals, which both came in a win at home against Bryant.
Friday night's Atlantic Coast Conference showdown will be broadcast live on WMUCSports.com. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for youth and seniors, and free for students.
After establishing the `Gold Standard' in 2008 with an NCAA National Championship, an ACC Tournament title and a school-record 23 wins and 15 shutouts, the Terps have a tall task ahead to repeat the kind of success they achieved just a year ago.
However, with a core of returners including All-ACC honorees Zac MacMath, Matt Kassel and Casey Townsend, solid leadership from a talented group of upperclassmen, and a promising nationally-ranked recruiting class, there are plenty of reasons to believe the 2009 Terps will reach the College Cup and beyond.
MacMath returns to goal after a spectacular freshman season where he led the nation in goals against average (0.44). He also tied a Maryland program-record with 12 shutouts and ran off a streak of 19 consecutive wins after losing his collegiate debut to California.
The biggest question mark for the Terps this season will be the backline. After being depleted by the graduation of three-year starter Rich Costanzo and the departures of All-American Omar Gonzalez, Rodney Wallace and A.J. Delagarza to the MLS, Cirovski will rely heavily on a young, fresh crop of defenders in 2009. The refurbished backline will, however, profit from the experience of Kevin Tangney as an anchor.
The midfield, along with the forward corps, should be strong units for Maryland in 2009. The Terps return seniors Doug Rodkey and Drew Yates along with sophomores Kassel and Kaoru Forbess, to the midfield.
Maryland is thrilled to return both of its starters at the forward position as junior Jason Herrick and Townsend are poised for their second season working together up front. The duo combined for 15 goals last season.
SCOUTING THE EAGLES...
Boston College enters Friday night's contest with a 1-2 record.
The Eagles started out the year with a loss on the road at Rhode Island. They then went 1-1 in a two-game homestand, blanking Bryant, 2-0, before falling to Harvard.
Kyle Bekker and Kevin Mejia are responsible for both BC scores this season. The Eagles have out-shot their opponents, 47-29, in 2009 thus far.
Justin Luthy has ten saves and a shutout in goal for BC.
Maryland leads the all-time series, 4-2, including a pair of 1-0 victories last season. The Terps last defeated Boston College in the semifinals of the 2008 ACC Tournament on an own goal.
CIROVSKI RETURNS FOR 17th SEASON
Head coach Sasho Cirovski is in his 17th season at the helm of the storied Maryland men's soccer program and his 19th overall.
Cirvoski's resume is nothing short of impressive, possessing a 237-103-20 record with the Terps, with a pair of national championships, 14 NCAA appearances, three ACC Tournament championships, six appearances in the College Cup, and 15-straight winning seasons.
He became the winningest head coach in Maryland men's soccer history last season, passing long-time coach Doyle Royal.
THE GOLD STANDARD
Maryland established several school-records on its way to the national title last season including wins (23) and shutouts (15) in a season as well as a program-best 16-game winning streak.
THE BEST OF THE BEST
Last year's College Cup was filled to the brim with ACC squads as North Carolina, Wake Forest and Maryland advanced to the final four in Frisco, Texas.
Known as the premier soccer conference in the nation, the ACC appears to be tough once again in 2009 with five teams posting unbeaten records in the first weekend of play.
Maryland will play host to North Carolina in a rematch of the 2008 title game on Sept. 25. The game will be televised live on Fox Soccer Channel.
HOME SWEET LUDWIG
Maryland ranked fifth in the nation in 2008 in attendance, averaging 2,545 per game.
Ludwig Field already got a new attendance record as 6,718 fans came out for the Terps' season opener against UCLA. The night was electric with an array of Under Armour events and the welcoming back to College Park of the defending national champions.
This season, Ludwig Field has grown an additional 500 seats for a total capacity of 7,000.
TERPS IN THE PROS
The Terps lost eight letterwinners from a year ago, including five that were drafted in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft.
Maryland, for only the second time ever in MLS history, had three players selected in the first round, including Omar Gonzalez (3rd - L.A. Galaxy), Rodney Wallace (6th - D.C. United) and Jeremy Hall (11th - New York Red Bulls).
Joining the three Generation adidas players are departed seniors A.J. Delagarza, who was nabbed by the Galaxy with the 19th pick and College Cup Most Outstanding Player Graham Zusi, who landed in Kansas City after being selected 23rd overall.
Maryland returns 42 percent of its scoring last season including Casey Townsend, who was second on the team with 11 goals in 2008. The vast majority of the set-up men return as Doug Rodkey and Matt Kassel, who ranked first and second, respectively, in assists, will be back in the starting lineup in 2009.
ANOTHER MILESTONE LOOMING
The Maryland men's soccer program is three wins shy of reaching the 600 mark and boasts a 597-299-77 record overall and 164-117-21 in conference play.
KEEPING THE STREAK ALIVE
Maryland has several streaks they look to continue in 2009.
The program has had 15 consecutive winning seasons in addition to making seven-straight Sweet 16 appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
In total, Maryland has been to 14 consecutive NCAA Tournaments while advancing to the final four in six of the last eight seasons.
Once again, Cirovski and his staff have compiled a top tier recruiting class, earning a No. 2-ranking by both Soccer America and College Soccer News.
The ten-player class is highlighted by three NSCAA All-Americans, including Taylor Kemp, Jordan Cyrus and London Woodberry, along with international standouts Widner Saint Cyr and Gonzalo Frechilla.
TOWNSEND GARNERS PRESEASON AWARD
Maryland forward Casey Townsend was tabbed to the Soccer America Presason All-America Second Team.
The Traverse City, Mich., native, was named an All-ACC Freshman Team selection in 2008.
FRESHMEN NO MORE
If Maryland hopes to be successful this season, it will rely heavily on the continued progress of its coveted sophomore class.
Zac MacMath returns in goal after a tremendous freshman campaign. The U-20 national team product led the nation in goals against average (0.44). He will face the only team that's been able to beat him at Maryland when the Terps battle California on Sunday, Sept. 6.
Matt Kassel will look to improve in the midfield and joins now-healthy classmate Kaoru Forbess
Casey Townsend, who ranked second on the squad in scoring with 11 goals, aims to have another stellar season in 2009.
Other sophomores looking to make an impact include Alex Lee, who has moved from striker to defense this season, and forward Matt Oduaran, who spent time with the U-20 Nigerian national team this summer.
#9 Jason Herrick - Jr.
#11 Casey Townsend - So.
#23 Kaoru Forbess - So.
#5 Doug Rodkey - Sr
#10 Drew Yates - Sr.
#8 Matt Kassel - So.
#2 Taylor Kemp - Fr.
#4 Ethan White - Fr.
#15 Kevin Tagney - Sr.Alex Lee - So.
#1 Zac MacMath - So.
#12 Kevin Mejia
#6 Edvin Worley
#7 Karl Reddick
#14 Jeremiah Gallington
#20 Kyle Bekker
#17 Charlie Rugg
#5 Sacir Hot
#8 Conor Fitzpatrick
#9 Patrick Chin
#23 Stefan Carter
#1 Justin Luthy
THE `09 SLATE
The Terps welcome 12 teams to Ludwig Field this season, including a four-game homestand to kick off the 2009 campaign.
In total, the Terps will battle eight NCAA Tournament teams from last season, including three that Maryland defeated in postseason play en route to its second national title in four seasons.
The schedule is highlighted by an opening weekend two-game homestand with West Coast foes UCLA and California on Sept. 4 and 6, respectively. Maryland faces North Carolina in a rematch of the 2008 national title game on Sept. 25 in front of a live television audience on Fox Soccer Channel. The Terps will take on ACC rivals Wake Forest on the road Oct. 24 before welcoming Virginia on Halloween night in College Park.
WHEN'S THE LAST TIME
Boston College edged Maryland:
Sept. 15, 2007 (2-0)
Prior to Jason Herrick's two-goal performance on Sunday, that a Terp netted two goals in one game:
Oct. 25, 2008 - Herrick at NC State
Prior to 2009, opened the season with a four-game homestand:
HERRICK LANDS NATIONAL HONOR
After sparking Maryland to a 2-1 overtime win against No. 8 California, Jason Herrick was tabbed to the Top Drawer Soccer National Men's Team of the Week.
Herrick scored both goals in the contest, including the game-winner in overtime in horrendous weather conditions.
His two-goal performance ties a career-best after netting a pair at N.C. State last season.