[TOP 5 PREVIEW]For years, Ludwig Field has been a happening place for Maryland men's soccer. The goal of Brian Pensky is to make it the same thing for his Terrapin women, who are coming off their best season. Pensky returns eight starters -- plus supersub Sade Ayinde, Maryland's leading scorer -- and welcomes two highly touted transfers, Haley Brock and Kristen Schmidbauer.
"For the past few years," says Pensky, "we've maintained that once we start to win, people will notice, and then they'll want to come out and support our team. And we saw that towards the end of last year."
He hopes to build on the popularity of the Women's World Cup.
"We feel that our game is an attractive one," he says, "and therefore our kids deserve good crowds, and positive attention."
The Terrapins will have big games to promote. They'll host defending ACC champion Wake Forest, 2010 College Cup semifinalist Boston College and North Carolina.
Maryland's big win last season was a 2-1 victory at North Carolina -- its first win over the Tar Heels in 33 games.
Besides Ayinde (10 goals, 8 assists), who had both goals against UNC, Jasmyne Spencer (10, 5) and Ashley Grove (9, 6) also return, giving Pensky his top three scorers. Domenica Hodak anchors the midfield, and Yewande Balogun is back in goal.
Pensky's primary concern is his backline, where Caitlin McDowell and Colleen Deegan graduated, but Skyy Anderson, who started 17 games in 2009, should step in for Deegan, and converted midfielder Lydia Hastings has been working at left back.
Brock, the 2009 NSCAA Youth Player of the Year, was Penn State's fourth leading scorer, with 15 points on six goals and three assists, as a freshman.
Schmidbauer, who the Southern Conference with 26 points on 10 goals and six assists as a freshman, was part of the exodus from UNC Greensboro after Eddie Radwanski left for Clemson.
Aug. 19 vs. Minnesota, 7:00 p.m.
Aug. 22 at Loyola (Md.), 7:00 p.m.
Aug. 26 vs. Stanford, 7:00 p.m.
Aug. 28 vs. Navy, 1:00 p.m.
Sept. 2 vs. Saint Louis, 4:00 p.m.
Sept. 4 at Cornell, 11:00 a.m.
Sept. 7 vs. American, 7:00 p.m.
Sept. 11 at James Madison, 1:00 p.m.
Sept. 15 at Virginia *, 7:00 p.m.
Sept. 18 vs. Virginia Tech *, 5:00 p.m.
Sept. 22 vs. Boston College *, 8:00 p.m.
Sept. 25 vs. N.C. State *, 1:00 p.m.
Sept. 29 at Clemson *, 7:00 p.m.
Oct. 8 vs. Wake Forest *, 7:00 p.m.
Oct. 13 at Florida State *, 7:00 p.m.
Oct. 16 at Miami, Fla., *, 1:00 p.m.
Oct. 23 at Duke *, 1:00 p.m.
Oct. 27 vs. North Carolina *, 7:00 p.m.
Oct. 30 Quarterfinals at campus sites TBA
Nov. 4-6 Semifinals-Final in Cary, N.C. TBA