Ahead of Maryland women’s soccer’s 2019 campaign, three Terps appeared on the Big Ten preseason honors list Monday. Juniors Malikae Dayes and Mikayla Dayes, along with Alyssa Poarch, a redshirt sophomore, were named players to watch.
Malikae will provide key leadership as one of seasoned veterans on the club this season as the only returning 2018 starter. Going into her third season at Maryland, the midfielder will be a staple in the starting lineup, where she’ll look to score her first career goal.
Mikayla, Malikae’s twin sister, can be the spark plug that the Terps offense needs this season. A season ago, the forward started eight games and appeared in all 19, notching an assist in the contest against Nebraska for her only point of the season.
In her freshman campaign, Mikayla came out hot with three goals and two assists in the team’s first five games. She was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week before suffering a knee injury that sidelined her for the remainder of the season. The Ontario native will likely lead Maryland’s offensive unit in the 2019 season.
Poarch is the third Terp to named to the preseason watch list, and for good reason. The forward is Maryland’s leading scorer coming into the season after she scored two goals and recorded two assists in 2018. A knee injury sidelined her for the entirety of the 2017 season, but now two years healthy, Poarch will look to be the offensive threat that coach Ray Leone needs in his lineup. Poarch spent her summer in the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL), posting a league-leading 37 points on 16 goals and five assists.
In an overly competitive Big Ten Conference, the Terps landed 13th in the preseason rankings, one ranking lower than last season.
Poarch, the Dayes twins and the rest of the squad will begin their season Thursday, Aug. 22 against Georgia Southern at 7 p.m. at Ludwig Field.