McDonogh junior Marchiano commits orally to Maryland

March 05, 2004|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

McDonogh soccer standout Mike Marchiano, only a junior, has verbally committed to play his college ball at the University of Maryland.

A central midfielder, Marchiano made his decision Wednesday night, passing on fellow Atlantic Coast Conference powers Virginia, North Carolina, Wake Forest and Duke.

A resident of Bel Air, Marchiano said the Terps' coaching staff, led by Sasho Cirovski, the team's recent success - two straight NCAA Final Four appearances - and being able to play close to home helped make Maryland an easy choice.

"I went down and visited those other schools - they're some of the top programs in the country - but none of them really came close to Maryland," said Marchiano. "Getting to know Sasho and his coaching staff, I realized they're the kind of people I want to play for and be around for the next four years."

Marchiano, sidelined for the first half of the season with a broken foot last fall, made his mark and drew Cirovski's attention last summer by leading his under-15 club team, the Casa Mia Bays, to a national championship.

McDonogh and Casa Mia coach Steve Nichols said Marchiano and Maryland are an ideal fit.

The McDonogh program has had a number of top recruits - 2002 graduate and current Virginia midfielder Brian Yi and 1998 graduate and former Virginia standout defender Jon Cole among them - but Nichols said no player has matched the complete package Marchiano brings to the field.

"With the skill and technical ability, the physical play and the leadership, Mike's the only guy that's probably brought all three and that's why I think Sasho wanted him so bad," said Nichols. "I think Maryland is the best place for him and I know he'll be in good hands."

Marchiano believes so.

"They've been very successful and with my club team winning a national championship, I feel the next step I can go is winning a national championship in college," he said. "Hopefully, I can further develop and mature as a player so I can make an impact when I first step on campus."

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