Sunday, November 14, 2010

Onwards and Upwards

Great results for my passive following of sports this weekend. Charlton's ridiculous 5 to 1 drubbing of Posh at London Road; the Bulls 103-96 win over the Wizards and Captain Kirk before the annual circus trip; Manny Pacquiao's -- hero to pinoy around the world -- utter dominance over Antonio Margarito; and the Bears' third win over a division rival this afternoon were each welcome developments.

In terms of live sports, I spent the weekend watching women's college sports. Saturday at Comcast and Sunday at Ludwig and two different results.

On Saturday, the Maryland women opened their basketball season with a walkover against Monmouth. This version of the Terps remains young. There are no seniors in the team, only four juniors (Lynetta Kizer; Anjale Barrett; Kim Rodgers; and Yemi Oyewufa), and the season will hinge on the quick development of several freshmen, particularly Alyssa Thomas, Natasha Cloud, and Laurin Mincy.

While last year's squad presented a perimeter threat to their opponents, this year's version should get most of their points in and around the paint. Maryland had a significant post advantage over Monmouth. Kizer and Thomas headline a strong front line that also features freshman Alice DeVaughn and sophomore Tianna Hawkins. The two that I am most excited about seeing develop this season are Diandra Tchatchouang and Essence Townsend. Both seem to possess incredible physical skills that they have not fully harnessed. Townsend missed all six of her shots and hung her head a bit after a miss, but continued to work hard on defense and made her presence felt around the boards.

Maryland missed an awful lot of shots near the rim and failed to convert a number of breakaways they created with steals off of Monmouth players. If they can execute better on Tuesday, they will have a chance to upset a surprisingly strong Hoyas team at McDonough.

While the Maryland basketball team faces a tough early test against Georgetown away two days from now, the Maryland soccer team had its season ended by Georgetown at home this afternoon. The Hoyas women's soccer team imposed a physical style of play on the Terps at Ludwig today. Led by a charismatic Ingrid Wells, the Hoyas pressed the Terps' defense and forced Maryland's midfield to sit far back away from Jasmyne Spencer and Sade Ayinde.

And yet, even isolated, Ayinde's brilliant turn inside off of a well-fed ball left her with enough space to hammer home the equalizer. As good as Georgetown was -- and they fully deserved to win in regulation -- Maryland likely would be in the final 16 of the tournament if they got anything from the right side of the team during the game. Lots of sloppy giveaways and poor touches allowed Georgetown's defense to play compactly within the box and focus on Spencer leaving the wings largely ignored.

Losing on penalty kicks is a tough way to end a season, but the team has to be proud about the incredible strides they have made in a short amount of time. Walking out of Ludwig back to the car, I marveled at the number of people who turned out for the game -- which took place at the same time as the home opener for Maryland's men's basketball team. A lot of the people there were Georgetown partisans (and their student supporters were great throughout the game), but there were a whole heck of a lot of families at the stadium that were cheering for the Terps. We saw girls walking around with t-shirts that had been signed by members of the Maryland team and a lot of young soccer players taking in what they might aspire to down the road.

That's a pretty good year.

No comments:

Post a Comment