The Washington Times - June 12, 2009, 10:19AM

What slipped by somewhat unnoticed yesterday afternoon finally makes its appearance here: The 2009 Maryland men’s soccer schedule.

The Terps, you might recall, won the national title last year. And a hallmark of Sasho Cirovski’s program is an intriguing schedule. Playing in the ACC isn’t a walk in the park, especially since just about everyone in the conference has been at least above average at some point in the last five years.

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But it’s still important to prioritize. Here, then, are five dates worth considering as the fall fast approaches:

5. Sept. 6 (vs. California): A rematch of the round-of-16 defeat of the Golden Bears, who dealt Maryland one of its three losses a season ago. It also happens to be the day after the football team’s trip to Berkeley. Good luck making it to both.

4. Oct. 31 (vs. Virginia): Maryland is looking for its fourth straight win against the Cavaliers. That would be the Terps’ longest stretch of success against Virginia since winning 19 games in a row between 1947 and 1968. Plus, it’s Halloween night in College Park. Expect a Mardi Gras-like scene at Ludwig Field and on Route 1.

3. Oct. 24 (at Wake Forest): The Demon Deacons won the national title in 2007, reached the semifinals in 2008 and beat Maryland both seasons. Plus, this is the same day as Maryland-Duke football in Durham. If that lands as a noon game, it could make for an adventurous doubleheader for some particularly rabid fans.

2. Sept. 4 (vs. UCLA): Just the season opener after a national title. It’s also one of five Friday home games for the Terps, who drew more than 6,000 to Friday dates with Duke and Wake Forest last year.

1. Sept. 25 (vs. North Carolina): These teams met for the national title a year ago, and this game will receive the Fox Soccer Channel treatment. It’s also a Friday night game, and is the only game on the list that happens to land on a home weekend for Maryland football (Rutgers visits Byrd Stadium the next day).

Patrick Stevens