Terps Open 2000 Season With Tons Of Excitement And Energy
Aug. 21, 2000
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The 2000 Maryland women's soccer season gets underway this Friday night under the lights at Yurcak Field at Rutgers University in New Jersey. The Terps, who return 17 of 20 letterwinners from 1999 and nine of 11 starters have high expectations of returning to the NCAA tournament for a sixth consecutive season under the leadership of 1999 ACC Coach of the Shannon Higgins-Cirovski. Maryland finished its best season in the ACC in 1999, coming in second place with a record of 4-2-1. The Terps are ranked No. 23 in the preseason NSCAA poll released in late July.
"I'm extremely excited for 2000," said Higgins-Cirovski. "I'm anxiously awaiting to see how the team comes together with the new freshmen and all of our experienced players returning from the school's fifth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament last fall."
Game Facts and Coverage
1999 Records: Maryland: 11-10-1 (4-2-1 ACC), Rutgers: 8-10-0 (2-4-0 Big East)
Series History: Tied 1-1-0. Last Meeting: Oct. 8, 1999 - Maryland 2, Rutgers 0.
The Coaches: Maryland: Shannon Higgins-Cirovski (80-69-12/.534 overall/9th yr., 11-10-1/.523 at Maryland/2nd yr.) Rutgers: Glenn Crooks (45-55-9/.454 overall/8th yr., first season at Rutgers.)
Records & Rankings
Friday's game at Rutgers is the season opener for both clubs. Maryland finished the 1999 season with an 11-10-1 overall record and a 4-2-1 mark in the ACC to finish second in the conference. The Terps were ranked No. 23 in the final NSCAA poll of last season and begin the 2000 season with the same rank.
Rutgers, under the direction of new head coach Glenn Crooks, finished the 1999 season with a mark of 8-10-0 overall and 2-4 in the Big East, finishing sixth in the conference.
Terps Top UMBC 3-1 In Scrimmage
Maryland opened is preseason slate with a 3-1 victory over UMBC last Saturday. Senior Terri Greer (Woodbridge, Va.) had a great game playing wide midfield as she scored two goals. Fellow midfielder junior Courtney Beirne (Westminster, Md.) scored Maryland's other goal.
Greer put the Terps up 1-0 as she scored from the deep corner with a crossing shot. Beirne put Maryland up 2-0 as she took a pass from Dana Jarzyniecki (Rochester, N.Y.) and beat the UMBC keeper on a breakway. Greer made a 3-0 with a header off a pass from freshman Jen Biscoe (Baltimore, Md.).
The Terps face American in it second and final preseason tuneup on Monday night at Ludwig Field.
Captains For 2000
Maryland features a trio of senior captains for the 2000 season. Senior keeper Ali Wolff (Richmond, Va.) returns for her second season as a captain. But Wolff is expected to redshirt the 2000 season and allow fellow senior keeper Riki-Ann Serrins (Mission Viejo, Calif.) to handle the bulk of playing time. Both Wolff and Serrins rank on the top five of Maryland all-time goalkeeping lists in every category.
"We have two great keepers and we were going to lose both of them in the same year, which would put us in a desperate situation," said Higgins-Cirovski. "With Ali redshirting, we will have a great leader around for another year and that's a coach's heaven."
Seniors Vita McKenna (Burlington, Ontario) and Julie Nelson (McLean, Va.) will also serve as captains in 2000. McKenna will play a key role for the Terps in 2000 in Higgins-Cirovski's newly created position of defensive midfielder. "Vita has really come along during the spring and summer seasons," said Higgins-Cirovski. "Her confidence is really soaring and she will be a leader for us on the field at all times as a captain."
Nelson returns to the field after missing the spring season following reconstructive ankle surgery. Nelson scored three goals and handed out three assists for nine points in 1999. "I'm looking forward to having Julie as part of our offense" said Higgins-Cirovski. "She is such a fighter and an emotional leader. Others follow her because of her intensity."
Sophomore Defense Returns
The Terps will feature an all-sophomore defense in 2000 with a pair of returning Mid-Atlantic All Freshman team members in Lindsay Givens (Downingtown, Pa.) and Carly Viher (Mentor, Ohio). Joining the them in the backfield will be Sally Harrison (Virginia Beach, Va.) and Valerie Lawrence (Silver Spring, Md.), who makes the move to defense from midfield. The quartet combined to start 87 of a possible 88 games in 1999.
"I think having four players in the backfield with a full season under their belts is a huge advantage," Higgins-Cirovski said. "They are coming back extremely fit, strong and confident."
New Faces For 2000
Maryland's freshman class features two of the Baltimore-Washington area's biggest high school stars in 1999 Baltimore Sun Player of the Year Jen Biscoe (Baltimore, Md.) and Washington Post Player of the Year Audra Poulin (Silver Spring, Md.). Both players are expected to make an immediate impact at midfield.
Joining Biscoe and Poulin are fellow freshmen forward/midfielder Katie Ludwig (Mt. Laurel, N.J.), back Jennifer Lovecchio (Vineland, N.J.), along with keepers Kristen Barnhill (Charlottesville, Va.) and Lynn Scharf (Woodstock, Va.). Ludwig was a high school All-American and teammed with Lovecchio in club soccer with the Medford Strikers, which won the New Jersey state titles in 1997 and 1998. Barnhill was named Central Virginia Player of the Year as a junior and senior.
Playing The Tough Schedule
In 2000, Maryland will face one of the nation's most difficult schedules in 2000. Shannon Higgins-Cirovski has scheduled 10 teams that are ranked in the NSCAA preseason top 25, including five that were ranked in the top seven. Included in that group is a meeting with No. 1 North Carolina, the defending 1999 NCAA Champion on Oct. 29 in Chapel Hill.
Maryland will take on three of the four NCAA Tournament semifinalists from 1999 in North Carolina (ranked No. 1), Santa Clara (No. 3) and Penn State (No. 4). Other ranked teams in the final poll which Maryland will play are Clemson (No. 6), Stanford (No. 7t), Wake Forest (No. 12), William & Mary (No. 13), Virginia (No. 16), Duke (No. 22) and James Madison (No. 25).
Maryland's home opener on Tuesday, Aug. 29, will be a rematch of the 1999 NCAA Second Round game between the Terps and Penn State. Maryland battled hard and nearly defeated the eventual national semifinalist, falling 3-2 on Nov. 14, 1999.
Also highlighting Maryland's 2000 schedule is a trip to Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif., where the Terps will take on the host Cardinal and national semifinalist Santa Clara on Sept. 15 and 17. The ACC Tournament will take place at Duke from Nov. 2 through Nov. 5.
Haven't We Seen You Before?
New Rutgers coach Glenn Crooks will be coaching against a familiar team in his first game with the Scarlet Knights -- Maryland. The former Long Island team mentor coached his last game with the Blackbirds against the Terps in the NCAA Tournament last Nov. 10, 1999 in College Park. Maryland soundly defeated Crooks and LIU, 6-0 in the school's first NCAA tournament appearance. Crooks coached LIU for three seasons after leading St. Peter's for four seasons in the mid-90s.
The Last Maryland-Rutgers Game
Oct. 8, 1999
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The Maryland women's soccer team recorded its second consecutive shutout in an important regional match as the Terps blanked Rutgers 2-0 at Ludwig Field. Maryland's defense was solid throughout the game.
Maryland (5-7-1) jumped out to a 1-0 lead as senior tri-captain Jackie Mynarski scored on a rebound off the left post just 6:39 into the match. The Terps secured a 2-0 lead as senior forward Julie Nelson scored off a pass from freshman defender Lindsay Givens nine minutes into the second half.
In nets, Maryland's goalies split a shutout for the second straight game, Ali Wolff started and played the first half, but did not make a save. Riki-Ann Serrins made three saves in the second half to share the whitewash.
Yellow Cards: Rutgers - none. Maryland - none.
Team Stats: Rutgers - Shots 9, Corner Kicks 5, Saves 1, Fouls 11, Offsides 6. Maryland - Shots 12, Corner Kicks 2, Saves 3, Fouls 8, Offsides 0.
WMUC Broadcast Information
Maryland's student radio station WMUC (88.1 FM) will broadcast eight Maryland women's soccer games in 2000. A pregame show will air approximately 30 minutes prior to kickoff. WMUC's broadcasts can be heard live on the Internet at wmuc.umd.edu.
2000 WMUC Broadcast Schedule
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