Thursday's edition of the Terrapin Club Weekly highlights John Stertzer as the Solomon Eye Associates' Terp of the Week. I love Stertzer's game, particularly the consistent intensity with which he plays. This season, regardless of the opponent, Stertzer seems to have approached every game as a platoon leader responsible for leading both by example and by voice.
It is perhaps fitting then that the single most vivid memory I will take away from his senior campaign comes from a poor Maryland showing against Lehigh Tuesday night. Late in the match, after yet another offensive break came to nothing against a defense that should have been completely overrun (final tally, Maryland = 30 shots; Lehigh = 6). Mikey Ambrose had made an overlapping run wide past Patrick Mullins on the left side. Rather than drop the ball off to Ambrose in space -- without a defender anywhere close -- Mullins crossed into a tight space in front of the goal box hoping that a carom would find its way into the back of the net. After Lehigh's second-half keeper Taylor Sulmonetti collected the pass, Maryland's players ran back while Stertzer briefly lit into Mullins for not rewarding the fullback for his run. The passing moment was of no significant importance to the match and was an aberration for a team that rarely bickers on the field. But it perfectly captured a game that was slipping away as several players seemed hellbent on showing that Lehigh could be dispatched by the conversion of extraordinary opportunities rather than a pedestrian display of superiority.
Mullins ended up scoring the game winning goal with around two and half minutes left in regulation. John Stertzer assisted on that goal, which gave Patrick a brace for the match and double-digits for the season. All's well that ends well.
Nevertheless, as professional scouts begin to consider how John Stertzer may or may not fit into their plans, I hope they will look for tape of the Lehigh match. It shows a strength of character and commitment to competitive integrity that augur well for a career after college.