Terps seniors aiming for final four After 3 Sweet 16 trips, the stakes are raised

Men's preview

September 02, 1997|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The seniors on Maryland's defending Atlantic Coast Conference champion men's soccer team will have a lot of fond memories.

Entering their final campaign, members of the Class of '98 have a three-year record of 41-18-6 and three NCAA tournament appearances.

Sasho Cirovski, Maryland's fifth-year coach, is neither impressed nor content.

"This entire senior class knows nothing about NCAA championships," Cirovski said. "They have been to three Sweet 16s, and none of them will be satisfied with anything but a final four appearance and a chance to win the national championship."

Loyola has made 10 appearances in the NCAA tournament but the seniors on the Greyhounds' squad have been eliminated in play-in games the past three years.

UMES dropped its men's soccer program after finishing 1-13 in 1995 and 0-8-1 last season.

Here's a look at the state's six remaining Division I programs:

Loyola

Coach: Bill Sento.

1996 record: 11-9-2.

Top returning players: Pete Troilo, Soph., D; Christof Lindenmayer, Soph., MF; Kev- in Alvero, Soph., MF; Matt Whelpley, Sr., F; Eric Coles, Jr., D.

Top newcomers: Brian Alvero, Soph., D; Ernest Leasure, Soph., G.

Outlook: The eight-time defending Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champs return seven starters from last year's team, which posted its worst record in 16 years. The team is young, but its attitude and strong nucleus -- Kevin Avero, Coles, Lindenmayer and Troilo -- give Sento optimism. "We're eager for the challenge," said Sento. "It was a fine recruiting season for us. We needed to strengthen our defense, and we've done that. We've also brought in players who can generate offense and move the ball forward consistently."

Maryland

Coach: Sasho Cirovski.

1996 record: 14-6-3.

Top returning players: Leo Cullen, Sr., D; Joe Marshburn, Sr., D; R.T. Moore, Sr., D; Mike McIlwain, Sr., F; Keith Beach, Jr., MF; Judah Cooks, Jr., MF; Pierre Venditti, Jr., F; Jason Cropley, Soph., F/MF; Steve Armas, Jr., MF.

Top newcomers: Randy Merkel, Jr., MF; Adam McMahon, Sr., D; Rob Birch, Fr., MF; Christian Lewis, Fr., G; Brian Otten, Fr., D.

Outlook: Cirovski describes this year's team as the "most talented and experienced group of returning players" he has had in his five years. The defending ACC champs are led by Cullen, a two-time all-ACC selection. Complementing Cullen in the backfield are Marshburn and Moore. "They are extremely focused. No one liked the way the season ended last year," said Cirovski, referring to the 3-0 loss to William and Mary in the second round of the NCAA tournament. "I knew the way the team treated the loss against William and Mary that we are going to have something special this year."

UMBC

Coach: Pete Caringi.

1996 record: 9-9-1.

Top returning players: Reggie Adubofuor, Sr., MF; Ted Lawler, Jr., F; Todd Smith, Jr., D; Kurt Meyers, Soph., MF; Scott Calder, Jr., MF/D; Michael Casper, Soph., D.

Top newcomers: Ryan Cuomo, Fr, F; Ryan Lampton, Fr., F; Louie Karko, Fr., MF; Martin Jorgensen, Fr., MF; Brian Mahon, Soph., D; Soren Byskov, Fr. G.

Outlook: Caringi, who has been coaching at the collegiate level for 16 years, calls this year's team "the youngest group I have ever had." The Retrievers lost four of their five top returning scorers, and the goalkeeping position is "wide open." Lawler, from Oakland Mills High, is back after missing most of last season with a groin and hip injury. Adubofuor led UMBC last season with nine goals and was named to the Big South all-tournament team. "The quality is there, but it will take time for the team to jell," said Caringi. "We hope to be playing our best soccer in November."

Mount St. Mary's

Coach: Mark Mettrick.

1996 record: 10-8-1.

Top returning players: Duncan Gladwin, Soph., F; John Burke, Sr., F; Mark Southern, Sr., MF; Brian Wall, Sr., D; Bruce Engle, Soph., G; Simon Hodkin, Soph., MF.

Top newcomer: Rob Ray, Fr., G.

Outlook: The Mountaineers return a solid corps of veteran leaders, including nine seniors, who will take their final shot at a Northeast Conference title. The Mount finished fourth in the NEC last season but returns lots of speed and firepower, including Gladwin, the NEC Newcomer of the Year, Burke (9 goals, 3 assists), all-NEC midfielder Southern (4, 9) and all-NEC back Wall (2, 0). The question mark is in goal.

Navy

Coach: Greg Myers.

1996 record: 10-9-1.

Top returning players: Matt Neely, Soph., F; J.T. Merchant, Jr., MF; Mike Lowe, Jr., MF; Donnie Field, Jr., F; David Perry, Soph., MF/D; John Bachmore, Sr., D; Greg Stepler, Sr., K.

Top newcomers: Mike Paisant, Fr., F; Doak VanEnk, Fr., MF.

Outlook: In an injury-filled season, Navy scored 24 goals but only gave up 24. Neely, a Patriot League Player of the Year candidate, led the Mids in scoring last season with four goals. "We have some young players with a lot of talent and we have a good core of seniors to provide leadership," said Myers. "If we work hard and catch a few breaks, I think we will have a very successful season."

Towson

Coach: Frank Olszewski.

1996 record: 9-8.

Top returning players: Andre Wise, Sr., F; Jeff Gredlein, Sr., MF; Mike Stillman, Sr., G; Andy Stroud, Sr., F; Ian Wildey, Sr., D; Richie Moller, Jr., F; Peter Medd, Jr., MF.

Top newcomers: Adam Lowe, Fr., F; Johannes Ruth, Fr., F; Mario Becker, Fr., D; Colin Carew, Fr., D.

Outlook: The Tigers, playing one of their most competitive schedules, are seeking their third straight winning season. Towson narrowly missed qualifying for the America East playoffs last season and has Moller, the team's top scorer, leading the forward line, and Wildey, a two-year starter from Towson High, anchoring the defense. "Our goal is to earn a spot in the America East playoffs and go from there," Olszewski said.

Pub Date: 9/02/97

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