Men's college soccer
NCAA Division I runner-up Maryland leads a trio of local schools in College Soccer News' preseason top-30 rankings. The third-ranked Terps come in behind only defending national champion Notre Dame, which beat them for the title in December, and Virginia, which they beat in the NCAA semifinals. Maryland and coach Sasho Cirovski will be without two-time Hermann Trophy winner Patrick Mullins but return a young, talented defense featuring goalkeeper Zach Steffen and outside backs Chris Odoi-Atsem and Suli Dainkeh. UMBC, ranked No. 20, returns eight starters from last season's America East regular-season and tournament championship team. The team loses forward Pete Caringi III but returns standout midfielders Geaton Caltabiano (Mount St. Joseph) and Mamadou Kansaye (McDonogh). After its first NCAA tournament berth since 1988, defending Patriot League champion Navy is ranked No. 26. Almost half of the Midshipmen's starters from last season do not return, but they do bring back Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year Jamie Dubyoski (Loyola High) and Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year Joe Greenspan.
Dunbar's Jones, Towson's Gillespie hoping to catch on
Malik Jones had one of the biggest hits of Maryland's preseason practice thus far, a nasty running blow to the chest of Jacquille Veii that could be heard across the practice field and left Veii on the ground for a few moments, trying to catch his breath. Matt Gillespie, meanwhile, had multiple tackles during the Terps' scrimmage Saturday, including one that stopped running back Wes Brown for a 4-yard loss. Jones, a redshirt freshman who played at Dunbar, is a scholarship player battling for playing time as a reserve defensive end, while Gillespie, who played defensive end at Loyola High, is a walk-on trying to make the transition to inside linebacker. But both have stood out at times through two weeks of preseason camp. Since he signed with the Terps last year, Jones has since added 20 pounds to his 6-foot-4 frame, and is up to 265. "I think Malik has done a good job," coach Randy Edsall said last week of Jones, who had 70 tackles and 18 sacks as a senior at Dunbar. "If he continues to work and he continues to be coachable and continues to study and prepare the proper way, he's got a chance to be a really good defensive end for us." Gillespie saw time with Maryland's second-team defense during the Terps' scrimmage Saturday with starting inside linebacker Cole Farrand not playing.