Monday, September 6, 2010

Time and Place

I flew solo to Ludwig for the night game between Maryland and Northeastern, but the whole family went to see the Maryland women play Stony Brook earlier in the afternoon. It was the first time we had seen the women play this season. The Maryland women chalked up their fifth win and have become a very good team fully deserving of their top ten ranking in women's soccer.

Jasmyne Spencer is the main attraction and lived up to top billing on Sunday. Spencer set up Maryland's second goal with magnificent play with the ball on her feet culminating in a gorgeous pass to Sade Ayinde.

My daughter seemed to find the fact that women were playing soccer to be a bit of a novelty and kept asking if we were at a soccer game. This, of course, reflects poorly on me as while I have no qualms about dragging her to all kinds of games at far flung locales, we have not yet gone to a Freedom game this season and I didn't bother to go to the women's first two home games against Iona and Missouri.

I cannot say that she enjoyed the game however and this goes back to the same broken record complaint: the culture of student fan support at Maryland is an embarrassment for the school. Whomever takes over as the new Athletics Director needs to witness first hand young male coeds berating female athletes at Ludwig with crude, completely inappropriate insults. Chelsea Morales, Stony Brook's keeper, played a fantastic game and stonewalled a number of shots that would otherwise have been Maryland goals. Her play was, in no doubt, motivated by idiotic shouts of "souie, souie" from a few morons behind her. While some of the insults that rained down on Oliver Blum in the nightcap were clever and playful ("You make Robert Green look good"), much of the Crew's contributions to the match against the Sea Wolves were mean-spirited and idiotic. We did not really begin to fully enjoy the game until the second half when we moved to the far end of the field far away from the Crew around families and kids who came out to watch a good soccer game on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

There is no question that Maryland's students have the right to act like belligerent children if they feel so moved, but it is quite a different thing for the school to tolerate and, arguably, encourage the behavior. Everything about the student support screams immaturity -- underscored by the "Do Her" t-shirts complete with explanation of how the phrase is not sexually crude but instead an exhortation of feminine power... the type of inanity in bs that most children abandon in junior high school.

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