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Maryland soccer’s Alex Crognale scored his first career MLS goal over the weekend

This is the Maryland Minute, a short story followed by a roundup of Terps-related news.

MLS: Toronto FC at Columbus Crew SC Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

In a week where his Columbus Crew teammate Zack Steffen made headlines by being recalled to the U.S. Men’s National Team, former Maryland defender Alex Crognale had a pretty good week as well.

In Saturday’s home match against Toronto FC, Crognale scored in the 81st minute to cut Toronto’s lead to 3-2. Like many of his goals at Maryland, his first career MLS goal came off a set piece.

Crognale played at Maryland from 2013-16, where he was a three-year starter and eventually captained the Terps’ back line as one of the team’s centerbacks his senior year. In his final season at College Park, he scored six goals as a weapon on corner kicks, and was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and a First Team All-American.

Columbus signed the 6’5 defender to a homegrown player contract following the 2016 NCAA season, and he appeared in 17 games and started 12 for the Crew in 2017. He underwent sports hernia surgery in October, which cut short his rookie season.

Since recovering from surgery, Crognale has struggled to break through in his second year playing professionally, and was loaned to United Soccer League team Orange County SC on a game-to-game basis. He’s made nine appearances with Orange County this season and five appearances with Columbus. But this score can potentially serve as a turning point.

In other news

Crognale wasn’t the only Maryland alum to score his first career goal this weekend. A week after wrapping up his college lacrosse career, Connor Kelly scored his first career MLL goal as a member of the Atlanta Blaze.

Maryland wrestler Youssif Hemida earned a spot on the U23 World Team, and will head to Romania for the world championships in November. You can find Hemida in the back row, second from the right in this photo.

Maryland football made the top 10 for local prospect Luke Hill.

With Kevin Huerter gone and Bruno Fernando back, head coach Mark Turgeon has a roster that’s familiar and possibly problematic, writes Jonas Shaffer of The Baltimore Sun.