“You could see when Brian came in [in 2006], the program was taking natural steps,” Cirovski said. “They have a lot of players who are going to play on the next level. They are establishing themselves as a top 20 team every year. That is a talented, mature, skillful group.”
The NCAA tournament is now the only setting in which the two programs can play each other. They were innocent bystanders in Maryland Athletic Director Kevin Anderson’s declaration in February that, until Georgetown agrees to play the Terrapins in men’s basketball, none of his teams are permitted to schedule games against the Hoyas.
“Have you gotten confirmation they are allowed to play?” Wiese said, tongue in cheek. “We are still waiting to see if this game is going to happen.”
The soccer coaches share no animosity and would like to resume regular meetings. Several players from each side have competed with, and against, one another on youth levels.
Last Saturday, after the Hoyas defeated San Diego, Wiese drove to College Park to scout Maryland’s quarterfinal against Louisville. Meantime, some of his players watched the match online.
“We aspired to be like them, knowing we were close to that level, especially this year when we have the talent and pieces to be that good,” said Georgetown senior midfielder Ian Christianson, who played on a regional select squad with Maryland junior midfielder Sunny Jane several years ago.
Said Wiese: “We know them well enough that we won’t be sitting there saying, ‘Boy, this is going to be impossible.’ But we respect them enough to know there is real quality and they are good. They are a fun team. It’s going to be a fun game. It’s great for the area.”
Note: Maryland junior forward Patrick Mullins has been named one of three finalists for the Hermann Award, given to the nation’s top player. The ACC offensive player of the year, Mullins has 16 goals and eight assists to lead the Terrapins in both categories.
Virginia senior forward Caroline Miller (Walter Johnson High) and Penn State senior midfielder Christine Nairn (Spalding) are finalists for the women’s Hermann Award.