|School: University of Maryland|
|Conference: Big Ten|
|Coach: Sasho Cirovski – 26th Season|
|2017 Record: 10-5-4 Overall, 5-1-2 in conference play|
|2017 Final Season Ending Rank: N/A|
|Key Personnel Losses from 2017 Team: Forward Gordon Wild and midfielder Eryk Williamson who elected to forgo their senior season to enter the professional ranks. Midfielder Jake Rozhansky and defender George Campbell due to graduation.|
Five Year Win Total:
|2017 Goals Scored and Goals Allowed: 30 scored – 20 allowed|
|2017 Goals Scored and Goals Allowed Per Game: 1.58 scored, 1.05 allowed|
|2017 Key Statistic: 0-5-1 in last six games of the season|
Background: Maryland is among the pacesetters in college soccer as reflected in their thirty-seven berths in the NCAA Tournament including the past seventeen year in a row. They have advanced to the College Cup (Final Four) thirteen times with the last being in 2013 and have won the National Championship three times (1968, 2005, 2008).
The Terps were members of the Atlantic Coast Conference from 1953 through 2010 before moving to the Big Ten in 2011. They won the ACC Tournament six times and have claimed the Big Ten Tournment Title three of the six seasons to date that they have been a member of the conference.
Midfielder Eryk Williamson was a 2017 United Soccer Coaches and College Soccer News Third Team All-America selection. He was also named the Big Ten Midfielder of the Year and an All-Big Ten First Team selection. Midfielder Jake Rozhansky was also named to the All-Big Ten First Team and defender Donovan Pines was an All-Big Ten 2018 Second Team selection.
|Numbers Starters Slated to Return in 2018: Seven|
Coach Cirovski stated, "We have a great blend of local, national and international flavor. As individuals, they are skillful, have fantastic attitudes, are extremely competitive and all have a history of being highly admied and respected by their coaches and teammates at all of the various teams they have competed on." Cirovski added, "I can't wait to integrate them with our already very hungry and talented returning group of players and begin our 2018 journey."
Richard Bedats – Midfielder – Trencin, Slovankia – Played for Slovakian Youth National Teams from U-15 to U-19. Played for AS Trencin.
Craig Eichelberger – Goalkeeper – Dunkirk, Maryland – Played for Baltimore Armour Development Academy.
Justin Gielen – Forward – Edgewater, Maryland – DeMatha Catholic High School – Netted fifty-two goals and contributed twenty-two assist at DeMatha. Three-time Washington Post All-Metro selection. United Soccer Coaches HIgh School All-American. Played for Baltimore Celtic.
William James Herve – Midfielder – Issy-Les-Moulineaux, France – Played for Valenciennes FC. Played in French National Youth League.
Brayan Padilla – Forward – Frisco, Texas – Played for FC Dallas Academy – Played for U.S. U-17 National Team.
Nick Richardson – Defender – Blatimore, Maryland – Archbishop Curley – Played for Baltimore Celtic. Named Maryland Gatorade Player of the Year. Two-time Unitedh Coaches High School All-American. Four-time all-MIAA selection. First Team All-Metro.
Russell Shealy – Goalkeeper – Cartersville, Georgia – Played for Atlanta United Academy. Played for Darlington Academy.
Brett St. Martin – Defender – Mount Airy, Maryland – Mount St. Joseph – Two-tiem All-State selection. All-MIAA selection. Baltimore Sun All-Metro. Played for Baltimore Celtic.
Vinicius Lansade – Forward – Fairfield, Maryland – Played for New York City FC U-19 Academy.
Outlook for 2018 Season: Every season stands on its own. Regardless, Maryland will enter the 2018 season with more uncertainty than usual and with something to prove due to the way they uncharacteristically stumbled down the homestretch of the 2017 campaign.
The Terps will be a very competitive team in 2018 and it is always wise to Fear the Turtle. However, they will not enter the season as a favortie to win the Big Ten Conference title and where they will fit into the pecking order of the Big Ten Conference and on the national scene is up for debate.
Maryland traveled to England for nine days in March. The competition faced, the opportunity such trips provide to enhance team chemistry, and the excitement they generate should provide a great segway into the upcoming season. It should not take very long for clues to emerge regarding how productive the Terps will be in 2018.
One early indicator will be whether or not an additional threat or two emeges to fill the void on the offensive side of the ball that forward Gordon Wild (5g, 2a) and midfielder Eryk Williamson (6g, 5a) and Jake Rozhansky (4g, 9a) provided.
Senior forward Sebastian Elney (5g, 2a) who has been a starter for the past three seasons looks to be the catalyst for the Maryland attack in 2018 and the most indispensable player. Senior DJ Reeves (2g, 2a) who appeared in eighteen contests last year with five starts, sophomore Eric Matzelevich (2g, 1a) who appeared in eighteen contests with one start, junior Paul Bin who saw action in eight matches and redshirt freshman Gio Vasquez who missed the 2017 season due to injury are among other returning forwards who will seek to play a greater role in 2018. Justin Gielen out of Baltimore Celtic and Brayan Padilla out of FC Dallas Academy are among the newcomers who could add punch to the attack up-top.
The midfield will require some rebuilding due to the departure of Williamson and Rozhansky. Seniors Amar Sejdic (3g, 4a) and Andrew Samuels return to set the pace in the center of the park. Sejdic will add an additional dimension to the attack while Samuels adds stability and firmness as a defensive midfielder. Sophomore Matt DiRosa, juniors Eli Crognale (1g, 0a) and Mike Heitzmann, and senior Jorge Calix are among other returning midfieders who will be in the mix.
Maryland looks to be in good shape on the defensive side of the ball and will not face the learning curve that they did this time last year. The Terps will be without right back George Campbell due to graduation but on the plus side of the ledger, senior Chase Gasper and juniors Donovan Pines (1g, 0a) and Johannes Bergman (0g, 1a) who were starters last year return with the benefit of a year of playing together under their belts. Sophomore back Ben DiRosa who appeared in fourteen contests last year also figures to be in the mix.
Redshirt junior Dayne St. Clair who had a 0.99 goals against average and nine shutouts in 2017 returns to give the Terps an experienced and very capable netminder.
Maryland's success in 2018 will likely hinge on a combination of factors. Key ingredients include the pace and leadership provided by seniors Elney, Reeves, Sejdic, Samuels and Gasper among others, the emergence of an additional goal scorer or two, the value the experience the defenders gained last year provides, how quickly the freshmen acclimate to the college game, and last but not least the resolution of whatever was missing down the homestrech last year.
Players develop at Maryland under Cirovski. The Terps may not enter the 2018 season with the talent individual-wise on the offensive side of the ball that they had last year. However, team-wise the potential exists for this group to be very good.