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Aug 21, 2012

No. 9 Maryland completes preseason slate with 2-2 draw against Penn State

The No. 9 ranked Maryland Terrapins completed a two-game preseason schedule on Monday night, tying the Penn State Nittany Lions 2-2 in College Park after falling behind by two goals early in the second half. Maryland’s dynamic senior striker, John Stertzer, and freshman Schillo Tshuma struck within three minutes of each other in the 75th and 78th minutes to knot the game up after the Terps surrendered two goals off of crosses in the 20th and 64th. According to the Maryland Athletic Department press release, the Terps nearly won the game in the final minute when Tshuma beat Penn State keeper Andrew Wolverton but had his shot deflect off the cross bar.

Maryland went 0-0-2 during the preseason which also included a 3-3 draw with Creighton on August 17. However, far more important than the results of the past two exhibition games is the emergence of some new weapons for the team, most notably Tshuma, who found himself in the starting lineup in both matches. The two-time Virginia Player of the Year is a member of the Zimbabwe U23 National Team and is listed as a top 60 recruit in his class by College Soccer News.

Tshuma has clearly earned the attention of Head Coach Sasho Cirovski, and should be a major contributor both on the front line and in the midfield in his rookie season. Look for him to emerge as the team’s No. 2 scoring threat, playing Robin to Stertzer’s Batman role. Stertzer himself is primed for another big year after finishing second on the team with 14 goals as a junior in 2011 and earning first team All-ACC honors. His numbers were topped only by then senior Casey Townsend (17 goals), the eventual fifth overall selection in MLS’ SuperDraft in January. If Stertzer steps up as he is expected to and keeps Maryland in contention for a national championship,  he could be auditioning for a top 10 selection as well.

Other Terrapins to make a splash during the preseason were junior leader Patrick Mullins (9 shots, 1 goal, 2 assists), redshirt sophomore Jereme Raley (1 goal) and sophomore midfielder Dan Metzger (2 assists). Maryland opens the regular season on August 26 with a big game against Big East foe Louisville at home in a 7 p.m. kickoff.

 

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