Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Big Year III

Yewande Balogun put up another shutout (Gametracker says she made 6 saves) and kept Maryland in their ACC semifinal matchup against Boston College to facilitate a Danielle Hubka game winner less than a minute into overtime. The Terps now face Wake Forest in the ACC Conference final on Sunday.

We were at Ludwig for the men's season finale against Coastal Carolina. Shaun Docking's strategy was different than what we've seen from other teams. Docking had two of his defenders shadowing Jason Herrick and Casey Townsend continually throughout the first half. And it worked, Coastal Carolina shut down Townsend and Herrick.

However, there were eight other outfield players for Maryland who had an easier time of it. Boyzzz Khumalo's alma mater gave up five goals on the night. Four were screaming shots from out side the goal box -- a beautiful free kick from Karou Forbess, a rope from Billy Cortes to give Maryland the lead, a stunning laser from Helge Leikvang to close the scoring, and another shot whipped into goal off the foot of Matt Kassel (which I missed while chasing around my daughter). All five goals would have been scored off of long distance shorts (and Leikvang would have had a brace), but Helge's shot bounded off the crossbar just beyond the goal line only to have the rebound put back into the net by a brilliant header from Paul Torres.

London Woodberry was, again, "injured," and Ethan White also didn't feature. The backline of Cortes, Lee, Young, and Kemp was not heavily challenged. The game was comfortable enough where we got a relatively extended look at Jake Pace and Gordon Murie.

Maryland rolled tonight. The team, however, seems unsettled enough in defense that the Terps' ability to make a dominant run in the NCAA tournament is a bit of a question. As good as Cortes has been at right back, Maryland is better with London Woodberry at fullback and Cortes in the midfield. The ACC tournament will be an interesting trial run.

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