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The best moments of the decade for Maryland athletics

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Our editors reflect on the Terps’ biggest successes in the 2010s.

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The 2010s era of Maryland athletics is nearly at its end as the new year approaches. The decade brought a lot of change, including the retirement of men’s basketball coach Gary Williams, the switch from the ACC to the Big Ten and three different head coaching hires for the football program — just to name a few.

With Jan. 1 just a few days away, Testudo Times editors Cody Wilcox, Lila Bromberg and Sean Montiel collaborated to compile the best moments of the decade for the Terps.

Football wins the 2010 Military Bowl

In his final game as the head coach of Maryland football, Ralph Friedgen led the Terps to a 51-20 victory over East Carolina in the 2010 Military Bowl — the program’s only bowl victory of the decade.

Maryland forced four turnovers against the Pirates, and running back Da’Rel Scott ran for a game-high 200 yards, along with two touchdowns to earn Military Bowl MVP honors.

The bowl victory on Dec. 29, 2010 contributed to Maryland’s 9-4 record, which was its best of the decade and a seven game improvement from the 2009 season. The 2010 season also included a 38-31 win over No. 21 NC State to prevent it from playing in the ACC title game.

Against the Wolfpack, quarterback Danny O’Brien threw for 417 yards and four touchdowns, which were all to Torrey Smith. O’Brien’s performance marked the first time since Scott Milanovich in 1993 that a Terp had thrown for 400 or more yards, and Smith became the first Maryland player to record four touchdown receptions in a single game.

Men’s basketball becomes ACC Co-Champions with win over No. 4 Duke

One thing Maryland fans hate about the 2010s is losing the ultimate rivalry against Duke with the move to the Big Ten. But before the realignment in 2014, some great battles ensued, including when the No. 22 Terps upset the No. 4 Blue Devils on March 3, 2010 to become ACC Co-Champions.

Maryland had lost to Duke seven consecutive times coming into this one, but it managed to pull off a 79-72 win on senior night for Greivis Vasquez, Eric Hayes and Landon Milbourne.

Vasquez finished with 20 points, including an off-balance jump shot in traffic with 37 seconds left to give the Terps a 73-69 lead that they never looked back from. Jordan Williams also came up big with 15 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.

Fans stormed the court as the final buzzer sounded to complete a night that Vasquez called “a dream come true.”

Stefon Diggs commits to Maryland football

Entering February 2012, Maryland football was in an unenviable position. Ralph Friedgen was forced out after the 2010 campaign, and Randy Edsall’s team went 2-10 in his debut season.

The Terps needed a splash in their 2012 class, and they got it in the form of Stefon Diggs. On the night of Feb. 10, family, friends and the media gathered in College Park’s Looney’s for the five-star wide receiver to announce where he’d be playing college football for the next few years.

With perennial powerhouses like Auburn, Florida and Ohio State gearing to sign the No. 8 player in the class, Diggs stunned the country when he decided to go with his hometown team in Maryland.

In three seasons in College Park, Diggs lived up to the hype. In 28 games, he finished with 150 catches for 2,227 yards and 14 touchdowns, helping bring Maryland to consecutive bowl games in 2013 and 2014.

And when Diggs decided to go to the NFL, he carried his success with him. He’s now in his fifth season with the Minnesota Vikings, and he became part of one of the most iconic plays in league history.

Men’s basketball takes down No. 5 Virginia in last regular-season ACC game

Closing out its 61st and final ACC regular season, Maryland men’s basketball hosted No. 5 Virginia on March 9, 2014.

The unranked Terps upset the Cavaliers 75-69 in overtime, ending their 13-game win streak that they entered College Park with. Seth Allen, who transferred from the program shortly after, scored 20 points, while Dez Wells contributed 18. And of course, the Terps’ final win in the ACC resulted in a legendary court storm.

Maryland ended its season with a loss to Florida State in the ACC tournament, while Virginia advanced to the Sweet Sixteen.

Women’s basketball makes back-to-back Final Fours

Brenda Frese arrived in College Park in 2002, and her impact was felt almost immediately. After a lean first year on campus, her team was a national champion three seasons thereafter.

But from 2007-13, her team couldn’t quite break through to the final weekend of the tournament. The Terps were stood up in the Elite Eight thrice, and two of those came as a No. 1 seed in the field.

That all changed in the 2013-14 season, when Maryland earned a No. 4 seed in the tournament after a 28-7 record. Led by standout senior Alyssa Thomas, it marched all the way to the Final Four in Nashville after beating No. 1-seed Tennessee and No. 3-seed Louisville before ultimately losing to another No. 1 in Notre Dame.

And while the 2014-15 Terps lost Thomas to the WNBA — she was the No. 4 overall pick — they retained the core of Laurin Mincy, Lexie Brown, Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and Brionna Jones, all of whom averaged double-digit scoring on the year.

These Terps went 34-3 — the best record in Frese’s tenure — and earned a No. 1 seed in the 2015 NCAA Tournament, and they rolled to the Final Four in Tampa, Florida, winning their four elimination games by an average of 13.3 points before losing to the eventual national-champion UConn Huskies.

Men's basketball upsets No. 5 Wisconsin

The 2014-15 season was a historic one for Wisconsin basketball; the team made the National Championship game, won the Big Ten tournament and recorded a program-record 36 wins. But Maryland got the best of the Badgers that year, handing them one of their four losses.

No. 5 Wisconsin was on a 10-game winning streak when it entered Xfinity Center on Feb. 24, 2015, with hopes of clinching a share of the Big Ten regular-season title — the Terps had other plans. No. 14 Maryland held its opponent to a season-low 20 points at halftime and 38.5 percent shooting from the floor that night. Melo Trimble and Dez Wells led the Terps on a 12-6 run to end the game, finishing with 26 and 16 points, respectively.

And let’s not forget the efforts of the student section, which pulled off a signature flash mob and then stormed the court after the game.

Baseball advances to NCAA Super Regionals in consecutive seasons

In 2014, Maryland baseball improved its win total by 10 and made its first ever appearance in the NCAA Super Regionals.

Making their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 43 years, the Terps completed a walk-off 4-3 win against Old Dominion in the Columbia Regional on May 30, 2014. Maryland went on to win two straight against South Carolina and advance to the Super Regionals, where it ultimately lost to Virginia.

The following season, the Terps returned to the tournament and cruised through the regionals with an opening win against Ole Miss and a series victory over UCLA. But once again, Maryland was met by Virginia and had its season ended by the Cavaliers.

Though the two years didn’t end in triumph, the Terps showcased what they are capable of and made history. The program has made the tournament field once since then.

2017: The year of Maryland lacrosse

If there was one year that solidified Maryland as a lacrosse school, it was 2017. The men’s and women’s teams won the National Championship in their respective leagues and also captured both Tewaaraton awards.

Under head coach John Tillman, Maryland had made appearances in the previous two national championships but lost to Denver in 2015 and North Carolina in 2016. But behind Tim Rotanz’s three goals and Dylan Maltz’s three points, the Terps finally broke through in 2017, conquering their first title in 42 years with a 9-6 victory over Ohio State.

Senior attackman Matt Rambo, who was awarded the Tewaaraton Award three days later, notched only one goal and one assist in the championship game, but was stellar for the team all season. Joining Rambo as the first duo in Tewaaraton history to win the award from the same school in the same season was Maryland women’s lacrosse senior midfielder Zoe Stukenberg.

Stukenberg, who was the sixth straight Maryland player to win the women’s Tewaaraton, was a part of three of the five National Championships that the Terps and head coach Cathy Reese captured this past decade.

Aftering falling 13-7 to North Carolina the year prior, Maryland beat Boston College 16-13 in the 2017 championship and capped off an undefeated record of 23-0. Stukenberg was held scoreless but contributed three assists, while Caroline Steele netted six goals.

Over the past ten years, Tillman and Reese have combined for a 392-50 record for Maryland.

Football embarrasses Texas in back-to-back season openers

Maryland football doesn’t have much to be proud of in the 2010s, but beating Texas two seasons in a row will always be a special feat.

Following a 6-7 record the season prior, the Terps were 19-point underdogs heading into their 2017 opener against the No. 23 Longhorns. Maryland went down 7-0 after an interception from Texas, but then scored the next four touchdowns to enter halftime with a 30-14 lead. The Longhorns clawed back in the third quarter, but the Terps held on for a 51-41 victory — their first win over a ranked opponent in seven years.

But the win in 2018 was much more than any upset. The Terps were 12-point underdogs to the No. X Longhorns, while still reeling over the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair and ongoing scandal that put Matt Canada as interim head coach. Maryland players carried a flag bearing No. 79 on the sidelines through the contest, and on the first play — after a moment of silence — the team opted to line up with one spot unfilled for its fallen teammate.

Maryland took a 24-7 lead midway through the second quarter, but Texas fought back with 22 consecutive points before halftime. The Terps took a 31-29 lead in the third, and after a crazy thunderstorm delay that caused much leakage in the press box, used a field goal and two forced turnovers to seal the 34-29 win.

Men’s soccer wins the 2018 College Cup

Everyone knows the story by now. Maryland men's soccer failed to score a single time during the first 400 minutes of the season and was 4-5-3 midway through October.

But on Oct. 16 against No. 7 Denver, the team started to find its identity. It entered the NCAA Tournament winning four of its last six, allowing less than a goal a game in that stretch. And once the tournament got underway, Maryland’s backline was unstoppable.

In 450 minutes across five games, Sasho Cirovski’s team didn’t concede a single goal. The Terps beat NC State at home before knocking off No. 10-seed Duke and No. 3-seed Kentucky — both games coming on the road.

Then in the College Cup in Santa Barbara, California, Maryland made history. Facing No. 2-seed Indiana for the third time that season, it won 2-0 in commanding fashion to advance to the championship game. And in the 57th minute of the title game against Akron, Amar Sejdic became a Maryland hero.