#13 Maryland Women's Soccer 2012 Preview

Maryland Terrapins

Overall Rank: #13
Conference Rank: #7 ACC
Maryland Women's College Soccer 2012 Team Preview
Maryland Team Page


A new era begins for the Maryland Terrapin Women’s Soccer program as first-year Head Coach Jonathan Morgan takes the reins from Brian Pensky who rebuilt the program into a national power and parlayed that into taking over the University of Tennessee women’s program. However, the transition has the potential to be very seamless as Morgan was an assistant under Pensky and goalkeeper coach Laurie George is staying onboard. Maryland goes into the 2012 season with a nice package of continuity that should help ease the transition from the Pensky era as well as a healthy amount of talented personnel that should accelerate the transition.

2011 Record: 12-6-4, 4-4-2
2011 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Jonathan Morgan

Olivia Wagner, a senior midfielder, returns to anchor what was a pretty explosive Maryland offense from 2011. Wagner led the team in goals with eight, while starting just 18 of the 22 games in 2011. Her experience, along with Hayley Brock, a junior who scored seven goals in just five starts, while primarily coming off the bench, are a plus for the Terrapins. Brock should evolve into more of a full-time starter this season and I would suspect would be a great candidate to be a double-figure goal scoring threat. Also, the ability to defend as a whole for Maryland has been a strength under Pensky and should continue under Morgan. The Terrapins only allowed 19 goals in 2011, which is impressive considering the nature of the competition they face year in and year out in the ACC.

Maryland needs to solve the goalkeeping position in the preseason as Yewande Balogun was an absolute rock in goal the past several seasons. The top candidate to take over for Balogun is Shannon Zickler who saw action in two games last season, playing approximately 36 minutes. Rachelle Beanlands, who redshirted in 2011, is another interesting candidate at goalkeeper as she was part of the Canadian U-20 national team before coming to College Park. Another key will be replacing the offensive production of Ashley Grove, who had five goals and five assists in her senior season of 2011. It will be interesting to see how they replace Grove’s production and experience up front. This is where Hayley Brock will have to evolve and cement her status in the starting 11 for Maryland to help generate even more offense for the Terrapins.

Final Projection:
The Atlantic Coast Conference in Women’s Soccer is the ultimate gauntlet as they will be on pace to have their usual seven to eight teams as tournament teams with several being able to make a deep run toward the College Cup in San Diego. Maryland should be no exception if they can come together under the first year head coach in Jonathan Morgan. The schedule, as usual, will be difficult but having North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida State all coming to Ludwig Field should help the cause greatly for the Terrapins. The Terrapins have done a great job in keeping local talent at home under Brian Pensky and thus should continue to remain among the nation’s elite this season with a legitimate chance to make a run toward their first ever Elite Eight in program history. The experience is there with Wagner anchoring the midfield. They will be battle tested all year long and it is just a matter of the team buying into the leadership of Jonathan Morgan in the head coaching position and taking advantage of the time they will be spending on the road to come together as a team as five of the first six matches are on the road including trips to Ohio State and Alabama.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Tournament

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Olivia Wagner, Senior, MF, 8
Assists: Hayley Brock, Junior, F, 5
Shots: Olivia Wagner, Senior, F, 54
Saves: None

Madness 2012 Women’s Soccer Recruit Rankings:
#3 Ashley Spivey
#16 Gabby Galanti
#30 Sarah Molina