There were 6,718 people in the stands and on the grass at Ludwig Field tonight to watch a promising Terps team fall short against UCLA for the season opener. So Maryland lost 2-0. Sasho Cirovski has put together a new team that plays attractive soccer and, although attendance will likely drop now that Maryland has shown that they are a young side and that they are vulnerable, they are, once again, well worth the price of admission.
Perhaps Maryland will not enjoy the same dominance they displayed last year, but the promise of pulling together a team that could make a deep run in the NCAA tournament. They just have to qualify. And, to do that, it may only mean finding a few players that can put the ball in goal.
For two-thirds of the game, Maryland was the far more impressive side. After giving away a goal against the run of play, the Terps fell apart. If ever Rich Costanzo has doubts about what he meant to the team, tonight proved Costanzo's value by his absence. Without Rich anchoring the team as captain, the team lost confidence and started to give up possession under little duress. UCLA's second goal was inevitable; Maryland had lost its discipline and form and UCLA is good enough to take advantage.
Very little time to think about any disappointment: Cal visits on Sunday night after beating Gtown 2-0 this afternoon. UCLA, in turn, will play Georgetown Sunday afternoon.