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Maryland Earns 3-1 Comeback Win Over Duke Before Record Crowd - By Chris Teale

The Maryland Terrapins earned their first win of the season thanks to a pulsating 3-1 win over ACC rival Duke in front of a record 8,397 fans at College Park.

Duke had taken the lead in the 25th minute thanks to a free kick from midfielder Sean Davis from 28 yards out that crept in past Maryland goalkeeper Zack Steffen.

However, the hosts turned things around dramatically in the second half thanks to goals from Tsubasa Endoh, Helge Leikvang and captain Patrick Mullins.

After the game, Maryland’s Head Coach Sasho Cirovski was full of praise for the support for his side from the fans, who packed out Ludwig Field for the largest ever attendance in the college’s men’s soccer history.

“It was one of the great, magical nights in Maryland soccer history,” he said. “The support by the student body and all the Maryland soccer community is just amazing. It’s humbling and to see it continue to grow like this is a source of pride.”

The Terps had been largely dominant in the first half but found themselves 1-0 down thanks to Davis’ free kick. However, Cirovski was pleased to see his team recover and refuse to let their spirits drop despite the disappointing half-time scoreline.

“I thought our team grew up a lot tonight, I thought we played a full 90 minutes,” he said. “We were unlucky to be down in the first half, we had some good chances, we stayed positive and we came out on fire in the second half.

“I thought our discipline was outstanding today, we didn’t give many fouls away, we didn’t make many mistakes, and staying tuned into the whole process is important. When you put on a Maryland soccer shirt, you give your best game. We did our best and we came back.

“We’re still a work in progress, but we got a little tougher today, a little better and got rewarded with a good result.”

After Endoh scored the equalizer for the home side, midfielder HelgeLeikvang was on hand to give his team the lead in the 64th minute, and the senior was delighted to make such a big impact in front of the vocal home support.

“I had goosebumps from even before the game, and I probably still have goosebumps,” Leikvang said after the game. “It was an amazing night and a great game for us and our program. There’s nothing that comes close to that.

“I didn’t start the first two games so it was good to get in there and get a good game and especially the go-ahead goal, that felt really good. It gave us confidence after falling behind and then we just kept grinding and I was lucky enough to get the one for the team.”

The Terps scored their third goal thanks to captain and defending MAC Hermann Trophy winner Patrick Mullins, whose low finish just two minutes after Leikvang’s goal gave the hosts the cushion they wanted.

“I think that third goal there was real important,” Mullins said. “At 2-1 if they get a goal they’re right back in it and it’s a real tough game again, so we just wanted to keep going after that third goal.

“We knew that we had played well up to that point but the game wasn’t over and we wanted to play a full 90 minutes so I think that third goal was important.”

Mullins was another who was keen to praise the superb support at Ludwig Field, in an atmosphere that some said was perhaps unlike any other in college soccer.

“I didn’t want the game to end,” he added. “I’ve been here for four years, and this was hands-down the best atmosphere I’ve played in at any point in any time.

“We have such a great program here, great coaches but the reason why this is a dream place for players to come and play is because of these people out here. They showed that tonight. We have the best fans in the country and they come out every week.”

The Terps next face Virginia Commonwealth University on Sunday, September 8 hoping to improve further on their current record of 1-1-1.



Chris Teale is a contributing writer for College Soccer News.  You can reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or follow him on Twitter @chris_teale.   

 

 

 

 

 

USC Trojans Keeping Their Feet On The Ground Despite Blistering Start - By Chris Teale

The USC Trojans women’s soccer team may have made their best start to an NCAA regular season since their College Cup-winning season of 2007, but the team are refusing to get too far ahead of themselves despite a record of 3-0-0.

The Trojans’ blistering pace has seen them score 12 goals and concede just four, rocketing them up to number 17 in the NSCAA rankings released on September 3. However, the team’s Head Coach Ali Khosroshahin is keen to enjoy his team’s great start and not look too far into the future.

“I am not a good fortune-teller,” he said. “All I’m really concerned with is how we do today and I’m very pleased with where we are today. With the way the players are working, their understanding of our gameplan and more importantly their commitment to each other and doing things the right way has been the best it’s been since I’ve been here at USC.

“The team’s chemistry and attitude towards each other and towards training has been second-to-none this year.”

USC’s season began with a bang with a 4-1 win over then-11 ranked San Diego State on August 23, and since then the Trojans have picked up a 4-2 win over San Diego two days later and then a 4-1 victory over Cal State Northridge on August 30. Khosroshahin believes that his team’s great start is largely due to an experienced group of players who have been able to execute their gameplan on a regular basis.

“This is the first year since 2008 where our healthy returners have outnumbered our new players,” he said. “When you have the majority of your team that’s accustomed to executing the gameplan and then you bring in a class, they’re able to teach them as well. We haven’t had that kind of an atmosphere here in probably two or three years.

“We’ve got five seniors that play pretty regularly for us, and having five seniors that play regularly brings a maturity into the program.”

Indeed, Khosroshahin is full of praise for his more experienced players for their help in welcoming the five new recruits who have joined the team this season and increased the competition for places.

“I have to give a lot of credit to our returners, who have really taken it upon themselves to make certain that the transition that these new players have to our program is as quick as possible and as comfortable as possible,” he added.

“With that being said, there’s still some growing pains that the younger players have to go through but it’s really nice having the support of the seniors, juniors and sophomores to ensure that transition is as smooth as possible.”

The Trojans next face two tough matches in the Minnesota Gold Classic against Ole Miss on September 6 and LSU on September 8. And while USC’s Head Coach is confident of the club maintaining their current streak, he is at the same time refusing to look too far into the future.

“I never try to plan ahead too much. Our goal here at USC every year is to compete for a National Championship, but I think when you look at it in the context of season-to-season, you want to do the best that you can with the group that you have.

“To know that we’ve started off this way, it’ll build some momentum, more importantly it’ll build some confidence in our players especially coming off the last two seasons.I think if we keep doing what we’re doing, I like our chances against anyone in the country.”


Chris Teale is a contributing writer for College Soccer News. You can reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." style="line-height: 1.6em;">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or follow him on Twitter @chris_teale.

 

 

 

 

Darian Jenkins Is Making Her Presence Known At UCLA - By Amy Farnum Patronis

There aren’t too many new names in the UCLA women’s soccer starting lineup this season, but Darian Jenkins is one that collegiate soccer fans should get acquainted with quickly. 

The freshman forward from Riverton, Utah, has made an immediate impact for the Bruins, scoring in each of UCLA’s first four games, including the game-winning tally against No. 7 Notre Dame on Sept. 1. 

It is the longest goal-scoring streak by a Bruin player since Lauren Cheney netted goals in six consecutive games during the 2007 season, which puts Jenkins in pretty good company.  Cheney was the first UCLA player to garner NSCAA/adidas First-Team All-America honors in all four years of her career.

While UCLA returned nine starters from last year’s NCAA Quarterfinal squad, the Bruins did lose their leading scorer Zakiya Bywaters to graduation.  Bywaters, a First Team All-American and Pac-12 Player of the Year, led the league with 15 goals and six game-winning scores in 2012.

So far, it looks like Jenkins is helping the Bruins fill the scoring void left by Bywaters.

“She’s scoring goals and that’s part of a being a striker,” UCLA head coach Amanda Cromwell said.  “Being a rookie and getting big goals in consecutive games is a pretty good sign.  In preseason, we talked about how to attack different ways and some different formations so she is a target for us.”

Jenkins’ transition to the collegiate level was expedited by her experience with the U.S. U-17 National Team that won the 2012 CONCACAF U-17 Championship to qualify for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.  

“Playing for the U.S. U-17s and having Albertin Montoya as my coach, he pushed me to be a lot better than I was when I started going to those camps,” Jenkins said.  “It really helped to play with good players with the U-17s, and now I’m playing with great forwards.  I’m learning from them and Amanda has helped a lot, too.”

While Jenkins’ transition has looked seamless thus far thanks to her speed and ability to hold the ball as a target forward, she is looking to build upon her explosive start and maybe even contribute an assist or two.

“There’s always room for improvement, but I have a great team so the transition wasn’t difficult to get comfortable playing with everybody,” Jenkins said. “I have to get in the habit of looking over my shoulder and simple things like that which need to be fixed.”

Jenkins committed to UCLA during her sophomore year when B.J. Snow was at the helm of the Bruins’ program.  Last April, Snow was named the first full-time head coach of the U.S. U-17 National Team, but Jenkins did not waiver in her decision when Cromwell was hired after spending 14 seasons in the same position at UCF.

“B.J. was a huge part of (committing to UCLA), but when I heard he was leaving I had no worries they would pick a great coach I would love,” Jenkins said.  “I wanted to be a part of a team that could win a national championship and I believe we can definitely do that.”

Cromwell, who led UCF to 11 NCAA Tournament appearances during her tenure, inherited a solid group to mentor as she attempts to lead the Bruins to their first Women’s College Cup since 2009. 

“You don’t want to change too much,” Cromwell said.  “There were some formations and personnel changes here and there, but this is a quality group of players so you don’t want to tinker too much.”

The Bruins are off to a 4-0-0 start, including the Top 10 win over Notre Dame, but the upcoming weekend may be the toughest on the schedule as UCLA competes at the Duke Classic, facing both No. 1 North Carolina and No. 12 Duke.

UCLA begins the weekend tournament with a hefty task as it faces the defending NCAA Champion Tar Heels on Friday at 8 p.m. ET.  The Bruins have never defeated UNC in eight meetings, including four contests in the College Cup.  They have had more success against Duke, posting a 3-1 record in the series against the Blue Devils, who they meet on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” Jenkins said.  “I know they will be tough games, but I’m really excited to see how it turns out.  I know a lot of the girls on both teams so it will be a lot of fun.”

UCLA enters the weekend ranked No. 3 in the NSCAA Division I Top 25, and Cromwell plans to keep her team’s goals set high as the Bruins continue their journey for the program’s first NCAA title. 

“You need to give yourself a chance to win national championship every year,” Cromwell said.  “That’s kind of just how it is at UCLA – that’s the culture.”


Amy Farnum Patronis is a contributing writer for College Soccer News covering Division I women's soccer.  She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.