Shout-out to my friend Jessie Hirtenstein who helped provide inspiration for this column as we traveled up the East Coast to celebrate our respective Thanksgivings. Thanks Jessie!
Record: 0-1 (1-0 loss to UMBC in 2nd round of NCAA Tournament)
Season Grade: B. I struggled with what grade to give this team for their performance this year. They struggled out of the gate and they only found their footing with their backs up against the wall after their overtime loss to Northwestern on October 5th. They didn’t lose for over a month and swept the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles in their inaugural season in the Big Ten. That gets them up to the B.
Maryland made the College Cup the last two seasons and the Terps were looking to avenge a tragic (and some would call it unfair) loss in the National Championship game last year against Notre Dame. Maryland was arguably one of the country’s hottest teams coming into the tournament and they grabbed the fourth overall seed. To lose their first game of the tournament to a local rival when it seemed like yet another handball call in the box went uncalled is excruciating. This team was expected to go deep into the tournament and fell far short of expectations.
Men’s Soccer had made the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament 13 years in a row and this year they dropped their first game of the tournament. That is a loss on the level of Duke falling to Mercer last year in the NCAA Tournament in basketball. I can’t grade this team higher than that (the B) because of how far they came only to fall so far short.
Record: 0-3 (lost a five setter to Minnesota, got swept by Penn State and lost another five setter to Iowa)
Grade: D. The Terps fought hard against Minnesota and Iowa but as has been the case all season long, they just didn't have the talent to get them over the top.
Games left: One. The senior day and season finale is against Northwestern on Saturday. The season is coming to a merciful end for volleyball in their first season in the Big Ten. Their two wins in conference play both came in five set matches against Rutgers, who may be experiencing one of the most futile campaigns in conference play in Big Ten volleyball history.