Friday, September 26, 2008

#2 Terps Men's Soccer Takes Aim at #1 Wake Forest

A battle for #1 in the nation will commence at Ludwig Field on Friday night. The #2 Maryland Terrapins take on the defending national champion #1 Wake Forest. This game is bound to be great.

Maryland has had a tremendous start. Now armed with go-to strikers redshirt sophomore Jason Herrick and freshman Casey Townsend (four goals), Maryland has seen a lot more success out of the gate than last year. Junior defender Omar Gonzalez has been great on defense and has three goals, and senior midfielder Graham Zusi (pictured) scored the goal-winner against Boston College. Thanks to solid all-around play, Maryland sits at 6-1-0, winning their last five at home and 2-0 in the ACC. Maryland has outscored their opponents 15-3 and has defeated three-then ranked teams: UCLA, Boston College, and Duke.

Wake Forest so far is defending its title well, being the only team left in Division I that was won every game, sitting at 6-0-0, with two wins against then-ranked teams: UCLA and UC Santa Barbara. Senior striker Marcus Tracy (pictured), the College Cup MVP, has been stellar in his final season, notching six goals and three assists, including three game-winners. Top to bottom this team is solid, including Baltimore native Akita Fitzgerald who has five shutouts and has only allowed three goals in his seven games between the pipes. Wake Forest has outscored their opponents 21-3.

This is a classic ACC battle, two very evenly matched teams will take the field. Maryland's all-around talented squad will have the home field and 6,500 fan advantage whereas Wake Forest has the experience of big games and the reputation to win. We may not get a winner, we may not get a glimpse of what the better team is after the game. But one thing is for sure. A #1 vs. #2 matchup will commence, and both teams will be ready to fight for it all.

You can listen to the game on WMUC Sports at 8:00 PM on Friday, or if you have cable you can watch it on Fox Soccer Channel. You don't want to miss this game.

(Photo credits: Maryland athletics (Zusi), ESPN (Tracy))

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