The Washington Times - September 4, 2009, 07:59PM

One of the things I didn’t get to blog about because of the cross-country flight was the Maryland soccer team’s season opener tonight at Ludwig Field against UCLA.

(Yes, you’re probably not reading this until well after the game starts. But Sunday’s game against California might be just as good).

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Anyway, I wrote in today’s dead-tree edition about the reconstructed back line the Terps will deploy tonight in their first game since hauling home a second national title in four years.

An equally interesting facet of this year’s team is the 10 freshmen on the roster – and the amount of tinkering coach Sasho Cirovski will do throughout the month of September to figure things out.

This isn’t to say Maryland isn’t taking the difficult first month seriously. Quite the contrary. But it’s definitely going to be a little while until the Terps really know who they are.

Deep down, Cirovski knows this as well. He’ll be as patient as his competitive spirit allows (the limits of which may well be tested), but he’s also going to wind up doing a lot of experimenting in the first half of the regular season.

In short: The Terps are going to look a lot different when they’re playing Wake Forest and Virginia in late October than they do this weekend against a pair of Left Coast powers.

Whether they’re substantially better will hinge on Cirovski’s ability to zero in on the right lineup combinations over the next few weeks.

Patrick Stevens