The Big Ten announced it's All-Conference Teams and individual postseason award winners Wednesday night and the Maryland Terrapins had four representatives on the first team, another on the second team as well as a member of the All-Freshman squad.
Midfielder - Dan Metzger
To fully appreciate Maryland's Dan Metzger fans and observers need to see play him play day in and day out. Metzger finished the season with a modest three goals and two assists but has never been asked or expected to shoulder a significant scoring burden for the Terrapins. Instead, Metzger is the glue who shapes the defense while controlling the midfield.
Little that he does is flashy but few players in the country approach his work rate. As the average fan watches play, they tend to follow the ball. That makes sense because this is where the action is. Goals are neither scored from the middle of the field nor without the ball and Metzger rarely possess the ball for any extended or dramatic moments. To best understand his value, you need to force your attention away from the ball to see how, while he never dominates the stat book, he does dominate the middle of the field and is the type of player who is critical to his team's success.
Midfileder - Mael Corboz
Maryland's head coach Sasho Cirovski likely had a very clear notion of the type of player who was joining the Terps when junior midfielder Mael Corboz transferred from Rutgers. As a freshman, Corboz scored three times and had seven assists good for 13 points that made him the second leading point scorer on the team. The next season he nearly matched his assist total dishing out six as a sophomore while more than doubling his goal total to seven. Those 20 points tied him for the teams's best.
Perhaps because he could defer to Kene Eze during his stint with the Scarlet Knights, Coboz started slowly for Maryland. After the season's first seven games, the junior had just one goal and one assist. His goal came on the first of his five successful penalty kicks (PK) in the Terrapins 1-0 win over Rutgers. Corboz scored in three straight games in a stretch that included another PK goal in Maryland's 1-0 win over VCU and two goals in the Terps' 4-0 rout of Penn State.
Corboz settled in as the season progressed and blossomed as other threats emerged. He leads the team in goals (9) and points (21). His four game winning goals lead Maryland and tie him for second in the Big Ten. Corboz is also tied for second with B1G Offensive Player of the Year Connor Maloney in points.
Midfielder / Forward - Alex Shinsky
This is a nice honor for the Maryland senior and is one that recognizes his overall importance to the Terps. Shinsky's career has been plagued by injuries and the 2014 season was no exception. He has played in only 15 of Maryland's 19 games and started only twelve. While his statistics are far from eye popping - he scored two goals and had four assists - the Terrapins' late season surge was fueled in some significant part by his return to the starting lineup.
Defender - Chris Odoi-Atsem
It's both surprising and unsurprising that a member of Maryland's defense would make the All-Big Ten team. Surprising in the sense that the Terps were only the sixth best team in the B1G in goals against average (GAA). Maryland tied with Indiana and Ohio State with 17 goals allowed but because the Terps played fewer overtime minutes their GAA is slightly higher.
It's unsurprising in that Odoi-Atsem was part of a defense that gave up only 49 shots on goal for the entire season. In some respects, Maryland's goals against average could be considered a bit misleading. The Terrapins became so potent offensively that, even when they had built secure leads, they continued to attack rather than withdrawing into a defensive shell more typical of other squads. As a result, the Terps had a bit of a propensity to concede goals late in games when they had secure leads
All Freshman - George Campbell
George Campbell came to Maryland a highly touted recruit who some scouting services considered the top high school player in the nation. Like much of the team, Campbell struggled early in the Terrapins' season. The freshman saw his transition to high level college play slowed by some nagging injuries that limited his practice time. Both the pressure of expectations and the added pressure of Maryland's early offensive struggles may have also hampered his progress.
Campbell scored his first collegiate goal in the Terps 15th game of the year - a 3-1 win over Santa Clara. Since that initial breakthrough, he has added three more goals over the next four games including scoring the second goal in Maryland's B1G Tournament quarterfinal win over Rutgers.
Defender - Mikey Ambrose - Second Team
As with Odoi- Atsem, Ambrose helped form the core of Maryland's defense. Ambrose was the only Terrapins player to start in the back and one of only four Terps to start all 19 games. Jereme Raley, also started all 19 games and typically played in the back but he started a handful of games in the midfield. This, together with posting three assists probably nudged Ambrose past Raley for a spot on the second team.