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Maryland women’s soccer impresses with top 2023 recruiting class in Big Ten

Meghan Ryan Nemzer brings in the No. 11 ranked class in the nation

Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback

Maryland women’s soccer head coach Meg Ryan Nemzer took over the program — one that had not seen a conference win in two seasons — in December 2021.

“We are building a championship culture here” is the message that the Maryland native repeated during this past season, one in which the team finished 4-8-5.

Despite the losing record and once again failing to reach postseason play, the Terps notched a win over reigning Big Ten champion Michigan to snap a three-year drought in the conference, secured a positive result against a ranked team in No. 11 Georgetown for the first time since 2019 and recorded back-to-back wins in the Big Ten on the road to end the season, a feat they had yet to accomplish in their eight-year existence in the Big Ten.

When asked about her top-quality 2023 recruiting class, Nemzer admitted it’s not easy to sell players on a program when the wins aren’t there.

“You know, we didn’t really have anything to sell them on besides the vision of Maryland soccer and the vision of the program and the coaching staff,” Nemzer said.

Despite that, Nemzer and her staff raked in the No. 11 class nationally — the top class in the Big Ten, per TopDrawer soccer.

“To have a top-15 class just shows you know, I say it over and over again, but buy stock now. The stock’s only gonna go up and I’m excited to see where we are, but I’m really excited about where we’re going and the 2022 team has laid the foundation for this,” Nemzer said.

The first nine signings, announced yesterday, include three four-star recruits and two Maryland products.

“My staff and I are extremely excited about the depth and quality of our 2023 class,” Nemzer said in a release.

The Terps are expected to enter next season with an already young roster, with five seniors or graduate starters moving on after this season.

Maryland displayed a glimpse of the future this past year with freshmen Tahirah Turnage and Ava Morales, who both likely solidified their 2023 starting positions.

“Right now there’s 11 in there that are hungry to put Maryland back to where it was as a national contender, where it was 10 years ago,” Nemzer added.

A word that Nemzer hated to use during the 2022 season was “rebuild.” Rather, she wanted it to be known as the foundation for a new culture being built.

That starts with bringing in new players, and Nemzer wants to build the Terps with homegrown talent.

“The biggest thing that I love is developing players,” Nemzer said.

Maryland fans began to see the seeds Nemzer planted start to grow, and that growth looks primed to bloom a winning team in the near future.

“One of the questions I asked recruits is, ‘Do you love winning or do you hate losing?’ and if their answer is I hate losing, that’s the recruit I want,” Nemzer said.