Welcome to the first edition of The Diamondback Sports Digest. Every week, we send you a rundown of the latest Maryland athletics news. 

Fall sports are fully underway in College Park. In this week’s newsletter: our first glimpse at Maryland football, a look at Maryland women’s basketball’s trip to a WNBA game, a field hockey bond that goes beyond the sport and more.

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Terps imperfect but intriguing in season opener

Kaden Prather celebrates his first touchdown for the Terps during Maryland football’s 38-6 win over Towson on Sept. 2, 2023. (Autumn Hengen/The Diamondback)

The long wait for college football ended for Terps fans Saturday. Maryland steamrolled Towson, 38-6, for the team’s third consecutive season-opening victory. Football reporter Taylor Lyons has your game story.

Five different Terps found paydirt, including West Virginia transfer Kaden Prather. The wide receiver is one of many Terps who debuted Saturday under new offensive coordinator Josh Gattis, who’s trying to inject some personality into the Terps’ offense. Here’s a look at what could change for the team.

Maryland, with quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa and a host of other weapons, isn’t struggling for offensive potential. But the Terps’ line remains a question mark.

Taulia Tagovailoa took snaps from three different centers in Saturday’s win, while 13 Terps received snaps up front. Maryland’s offensive line allowed six pressures against its FCS opponent. Football reporter Brandon Schwartzberg has more on the team’s offensive line.

Maryland women’s basketball cheers on former teammate at Mystics vs. Lynx

(Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics)

Much of the Maryland women’s basketball roster traveled to Entertainment & Sports Arena in Washington, D.C., last Tuesday to take in a WNBA matchup that featured familiar faces. 

The Terps cheered on former star Diamond Miller as she and the Minnesota Lynx fell to the Washington Mystics, 72-83. The rookie scored 25 points in the matchup and shared the court with fellow Maryland women’s basketball alumni Kristi Toliver and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough.

Women’s basketball reporter Sam Jane sat with the Maryland team during the game for a first look at the Terps’ early-season chemistry. Here’s what he saw. 

Love Island, Marathon Deli and Maryland field hockey

Rayne Wright fistbumps a teammate during Maryland field hockey’s 6-1 win over New Hampshire on Sept. 11, 2022. (Riley Sims/The Diamondback)

While Maura Verleg and Rayne Wright are best known for their connection on the field as co-captains of the Maryland field hockey team, their bond off of it is just as strong.

The duo joined the team during the pandemic and quickly bonded over the reality TV show Love Island. Verleg and Wright also frequent Marathon Deli, visiting about twice per week for gyros and subs. Of course, they also share a box of fries soaked in the deli’s signature Marathon Sauce.

Verleg and Wright both star in a Maryland defense that’s kept three shutouts in five games so far this season, and they look to provide a backbone to a Terps team that’s consistently competing for national championships. Field hockey reporter Holliday Woodard spoke to them about their friendship.

Best bits

  • Freshman Eva Rohrbach has immediately filled a need at middle blocker for Maryland volleyball and impressed throughout her first three games for the Terps.
  • Maryland softball has a new coach after Mark Montgomery resigned in July. The Terps hired Lauren Karn from Oakland, who is the winningest softball coach in the school’s history.
  • Class of 2024 combo guard Jaeden Mustaf, a consensus four-star recruit, took his official visit to College Park this weekend. He is currently deciding between a final six of Georgia Tech, NC State, Maryland, Florida State, Indiana and Arkansas.
  • Maryland women’s soccer’s freshmen are playing a large role early in the season, combining to play 1,372 minutes in the Terps’ first four games of 2023. Maryland claimed its first victory of the year in a 1-0 win over Towson Sunday.
  • A familiar face is returning to Maryland men’s lacrosse as former Tewaaraton Award winner Jared Bernhardt was appointed as the Terps’ director of player development Thursday.

Stat of the week

Maryland football held Towson without a touchdown on Saturday — the third consecutive game the team has done so. The last time Maryland didn’t allow a touchdown for three straight games was in 1976.

Game to watch

No. 20 Maryland men’s soccer renews its Labor Day rivalry against Virginia on Monday in Charlottesville at 7 p.m. The Terps are 1-1-1 this season and trounced the Cavaliers 6-1 at Audi Field last year.