Sept. 17, 2009
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -
The No. 4 Maryland men's soccer team looks to improve its record to 2-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference Saturday when it travels to Raleigh for a matchup with No. 23 NC State at 7 p.m. at Dail Soccer Stadium.
Maryland (3-1) scored from all angles in a 7-0 drumming of Duquesne on Tuesday night in College Park. Led by sophomore forward Casey Townsend's first career hat trick, the Terps picked up their largest win at Ludwig Field in exactly five years when the squad toppled Cal State Fullerton, 9-0, on Sept. 15, 2004.
North Carolina State defeated Campbell, 5-1, on Tuesday night for its fourth win in 2009. The Wolfpack's lone loss came at the hands of No. 3 North Carolina, 2-1, on Sept. 12. Currently, NC State is tops in the conference in goals with 14, led by four from Ronnie Bouemboue.
Following Saturday's conference battle, the Terps return to College Park for a match against St. Peters on Tuesday before playing host to a rematch of last season's NCAA championship game when North Carolina comes to Ludwig Field on Friday.
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 PACK...
No. 23-ranked North Carolina State Wolfpack enter this weekend's ACC matchup with an impressive 4-1 record, with its lone loss coming at the hands of No. 3 North Carolina, 2-1, in Chapel Hill on Sept. 12.
Last time out, the Wolfpack dropped Campbell, 5-1, Tuesday at home.
Ronnie Bouemboue paces N.C. State with four goals and four assists in 2009, while Alan Sanchez has a team-best five assists.
Goalkeeper Christopher Widman has only given up four goals in five starts this season and has tallied 12 saves with a pair of shutouts.
Maryland leads the all-time series, 43-20-5. The Terps defeated the Wolfpack last season, 2-1, in Raleigh, courtesy of two goals from Jason Herrick.
LAST TIME OUT...
The No. 4 Maryland men's soccer team ignited for seven goals, highlighted by a hat trick by Casey Townsend, on Tuesday night in a 7-0 shutout of Duquesne at Ludwig Field.
Maryland (3-1) got goals from Matt Kassel, Drew Yates, Ethan White and John Stertzer in addition to Townsend's three tallies.
Will Swaim picked up his first win of the year while the Terrapin backline tallied its second consecutive shutout. The seven-goal win is the largest in exactly five years at Ludwig Field when the Terps dropped intrastate rival Loyola, 9-0, on Sept. 15, 2004. In total, Maryland out-shot the Dukes, 27-5, as 24 Terrapins saw game action.
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 239-103-20 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 six teams ranked in the most recent NSCAA/adidas poll and three teams in the top five.
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 two wins shy of reaching the 600 mark and boasts a 598-299-77 record overall and 165-117-21 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.
The tandem of Kemp and fellow freshman Ethan White have played every minute since their arrival to College Park.
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 - S.r
#10 Drew Yates - Sr.
#8 Matt Kassel - So.
#2 Taylor Kemp - Fr.
#4 Ethan White - Fr.
#15 Kevin Tagney - Sr.
#18 Alex Lee - So.
#1 Zac MacMath - So.
GK 1 Christopher Widman
2 Korede Aiyegbusi
3 Romulo Manzano
7 Ronnie Bouemboue
8 Chrystel Bakong
9 Kris Byrd
10 Alan Sanchez
12 Tyler Lassiter
14 Lucas Carpenter
15 Chandler Knox
19 Chris Zuerner
LIGHTS OUT AT LUDWIG
Maryland scored a total of seven goals as five different Terps found the back of the net in a 7-0 shutout against Duquesne on Sept. 15 at Ludwig Field.
24 players saw game action for Maryland as eight different players notched at least a point in the match, led by a hat trick by Casey Townsend and two assists and a goal from Matt Kassel.
Several firsts were established as well as six players saw their first action as Terrapins, goalkeeper Will Swaim tallied his first career assist and freshmen John Stertzer and Ethan White each registered their first goals in the Red and Black.
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.