Terps men's soccer team finally has it rolling

September 15, 1994|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Sun Staff Writer

The men's soccer season is only 2 weeks old, but the Maryland Terrapins might be on to something fairly new -- a winning season.

The last time the Terps enjoyed a winning record was 1990, when they went 10-8-1. They have rolled downhill since, winning only 11 games over the previous three sea- sons. Last year, they hit rock bottom at 3-14-1. But third-year coach Sasho Cirovski and two fine recruiting classes appear to have the Terps on the road to a rapid recovery.

With yesterday's 4-2 overtime victory over American, Maryland (3-1) has equaled last year's victory total.

The Terps started the year with a 2-0 decision over Old Dominion, which marked the first time that seniors Malcolm Gillian, Sean Wray and Jason Lipka had experienced a winning record at Maryland. The Terps then raised eyebrows with a 6-0 trouncing of UMBC.

Sunday, they opened their Atlantic Coast Conference schedule with a true test against three-time defending national champion Virginia. The Terps acquitted themselves by playing the Cavaliers evenly for a half, before losing, 4-2.

"We outplayed them in the first half, but we didn't put away our chances," Cirovski said. "I like what I've seen from this team. One of our goals is to improve with every game, and we're doing that. There's a growing sense of confidence in our ability to get better."

Solid recruiting is the main reason a turnaround could happen. Last year, Cirovski signed forward Shane Dougherty (Fallston), the Baltimore Sun's Player of the Year in 1992 and the first Parade All-American ever at College Park. Dougherty has started his sophomore season with a team-high six goals.

This year, the Terps brought in Leo Cullen and Mike McIlwain. Cullen was last year's Parade National Player of the Year at St. Paul's Academy (Burnsville, Minn.). McIlwain was Florida's Player of the Year. Both have stabilized the midfield.

Those newcomers have combined with veterans such as Gillian (eight points) and Tod Herskovitz to make the Terps a team to reckon with. Herskovitz, a junior and medical redshirt (back injury) last year, is free of pain and playing like it. He has four goals and three assists.

Lentz an academic star

Nancy Lentz, a star in the classroom and on the field for Johns Hopkins women's lacrosse team last year, will represent Maryland as the NCAA decides on its national Woman of the Year award.

Lentz, a three-year starter on defense for the Blue Jays who led them to two straight Division III semifinal appearances, is one of 11 student-athletes from Division III schools to be nominated among the final 51.

Lentz graduated from Hopkins last spring with a 3.98 grade-point average as a biophysics major. She has begun her first year of medical school at Harvard.

The list will be pared from 51 to 10 finalists on Sunday. On Nov. 14, when all state-level winners will be honored in Washington, the Woman of the Year will be announced.

Net gains for Loyola

So far, it's business as usual for Loyola's women's tennis team. The Greyhounds, who have won three of the past four Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference titles, are off to a 3-0 start.

They capped it recently with a 7-2 victory over Fairfield, a team that tied Loyola last year. The biggest victory was a 5-4 decision over Towson State, a team the Greyhounds had not beaten since the mid-1980s.

Freshman Bridget Madden and juniors Jeanne Havas and Colby Bruno are each undefeated in singles play.

Quick start for Villa Julie

Villa Julie's women's soccer team has a winning record in its first year of existence. The school earned its first Division III victory on Sunday with a 3-0 decision over Mary Baldwin, then came back yesterday to wallop Hood -- another first-year program -- by a 9-0 count.

Kim Shuster (four goals) and Brigid Hollywood (three goals, one assist) have led Villa Julie to a 2-1 record.

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