Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Big Year

The Maryland women's soccer program is having an amazing season. They have already matched their win total from last season (14) and got their lucky 13th win of the year by -- ho hum -- going down to Chapel Hill and beating North Carolina for the first time in the program's history.

There have not been many opportunities to see the women play this October (their only home game of the month prior to tonight was on the 14th) and we were fortunate to be able to take care of work responsibilities so as to catch the second half of tonight's matchup of two top ten teams.

When the second half started, Florida State played aggressively and ran straight at (and through) the Terps' defense. Janice Cayman's goal seemed inevitable and the Seminoles looked like they had the game in hand.

But this appears to be a pretty resolute Maryland squad and the team did not panic, but rather continued to build and mount attacks. Eventually, a well-earned free kick outside of the goal box allowed Colleen Deegan to net the equalizer.

I was most impressed with Bowie's Yewande Balogun, who was fearless between the sticks. Florida State pressed well and the pressure unraveled Maryland's defense at times, but Balogun was superb. Fresh off a five save (and one assist) effort that downed the Tar Heels, Balogun threw herself in front of raiding Seminole players and kept firm command of the game.

I was also impressed by Rodney Wallace's presence at the game. There were only a handful of students at the game (hard to blame them, as hundreds were lined up to see Saul Williams perform) and the most avid cheering came from the score of FSU fans in the stands. But Wallace was there, sitting amongst the families in attendance, and neither taking a low profile or drawing attention to himself.

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