Terp of the Week: Patrick Mullins
Nov. 25, 2012
Each week during the 2012-13 season a Maryland student-athlete, who has shown excellence on and off the playing field, will be selected as the Solomon Eye Associates Terp of the Week. This week's Solomon Eye Associates Terp of the Week is Patrick Mullins from the men's soccer team. Mullins tallied the game-tying goal just before halftime in Maryland's 2-1 NCAA second round victory against Brown last Sunday. He leads the Terps in goals in 2012.
By Taylor Smyth | Maryland Media Relations Assistant
Patrick Mullins knew his team needed a spark.
So when the junior forward received the ball at the midfield line just before halftime of Maryland's NCAA second round contest against Brown, the junior forward realized he needed to pull the trigger.
"Their backline sort of backed off a little bit which created some space and our forwards made good runs to distract their defenders," Mullins said. "I saw an opening and I took it and never looked back. I hit it the best I could and it went in."
Mullins' sensational 30-yard strike not only tied the match, but sent Maryland into the second half with momentum. The Terrapins would eventually secure a 2-1 victory, led as usual, by Mullins consistent play.
"Pat's a difference maker," head coach Sasho Cirovski said. "Sometimes he can be quiet for a few minutes, and then in an instant, he makes a play that changes the game."
As one of the top strikers in the college game, Mullins has defined the term "clutch" this season for the Terrapins. From his late goal in the ACC semifinal against Clemson, to his dangerous ball that set up teammate Schillo Tshuma's winner in a high profile match with North Carolina, Mullins has possessed an incredible knack for shining in the largest moments.
"I think it's just staying tuned in for the whole game," Mullins said. "When the chance comes, you execute it the best you can. I think it's that last bit of concentration. Sometimes those are the differences in games."
While Mullins gets attention from fans for his goal scoring exploits, Cirovski is encouraged by the improvement of Mullins' overall game. The junior is first on the team with eight assists, and his composed hold-up play has been a key to the Terrapins high powered attack.
"When he comes underneath, he can turn and play a cultured ball to his teammates up forward that very few guys in college soccer can play," Cirovski said. "When he's wide, he can whip in a great cross. He's very multi-dimensional."
The New Orleans native credits great team chemistry and attitude for his ability to flourish in the Maryland offense.
"I think it's just the result of our team play mentality that we've had all year," Mullins said. "We've got a lot of different options. Sometimes I'm the guy who finishes it; sometimes I support it and make the assist. We just have great team play."
With his goal and assist totals doubled from last season, Mullins has experienced much of the focus from opponent's defenders, but says that he and Tshuma have learned to deal with the pressure.
"I think me and Schillo are going to have our chances, no matter what defense is out there. We just have to take that chances when they come and just keep working the whole 90 minutes, because I think our work rate is as good as any defenders in the country."
As Maryland continues play in the NCAA tournament, excellent play from Mullins will be necessary for any type of deep run. It is a responsibility that Cirovski believes his star player is ready for.
"We need Pat to be an inspirational leader on both sides of the ball," Cirovski said. "With his work and his skill."