Welcome to Maryland, Washington Spirit!

The Maryland Office of Sports is pleased to welcome the Washington Spirit and women’s professional soccer back to Maryland! The Inaugural NWSL home game for your Washington Spirit kicks off on Saturday, April Spirtlogo20th against Western New York Flash. The match is expected to feature the FIFA World Player of the Year Abby Wambach in her professional soccer return to the Maryland SoccerPlex. The Washington Spirit features US National team star Ali Krieger, Ashlyn Harris and Lori Lindsey. Discounted tickets are available for Maryland Sports supporters via this email. Order your tickets today to be a part of this historic event in women’s professional sports.

Saturday, April 20th – 7PM
Washington Spirit vs. Western New York
Maryland SoccerPlex – parking is FREE
Cost: $15 (reg. $20) – Away Side & Spirit Hill GA
Promo Code = mdsports (only needed for orders of 1-9 tickets)

To order tickets please follow this link:

For more information or to organize a group outing to another Spirit match, please contact Rob Bartlett (Washington Spirit – Ticket Programs Manager) at 240-394-9758 or rbartlett@washingtonspirit.com. Please visit www.washingtonspirit.com and follow the team on Twitter @washspirit.

ACC Men’s Soccer Championship

This past weekend the Maryland SoccerPlex (Montgomery County) played host to some of the best collegiate soccer in the county – ACC Men’s Soccer Championship.  The final four teams made their way to Montgomery County for the semi-finals Friday night under the lights.  The two matches played to overtime with the University of North Carolina taking the early match and the University of Maryland taking the night cap.

I had the good fortune to travel over the SoccerPlex on Sunday afternoon for the championship match between the Tar Heels and Terrapins. The Terrapins won the match 2-1 (complete match recap) in front of a capacity crowd of over 9,000.  The atmosphere was definitely that deserving of a championship match.  The stands were packed and the end zone was filled with a very energetic and robust Maryland student section.  And as someone who was charged with ensuring unspectacular the weather, I delivered a beautiful and sunny mid 60 degree day…in November!

I want to take a moment to congratulate the University of Maryland on their ACC Men’s Soccer Championship crown.  More importantly, I would like to thank and congratulate the Maryland SoccerPlex for their commitment to delivering a first-class event at their first-class facility.  The pitch looked outstanding, the venue was well dressed and the staffing was great. SoccerPlex Executive Director, Trish Heffelfinger’s team did an outstanding job of working with the ACC, the participating universities and provided a great fan experience. They definitely showcased the State of Maryland at its best.  I tip my hat to our friends at the Maryland SoccerPlex.

Next stop the 2012 NCAA Men’s College Cup! 

Maryland opens the College Cup as the #2 seed and will take on the winner of the Brown v. Drexel on November 18th at home.

The University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) Retrievers also qualified for the NCAA Men’s College Cup.  Retrievers will open their quest for the College Cup on the road at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA on November 15th.

Maryland will have to win four matches and UMBC will have to win five matches to have a chance to compete for the College Cup on December 9, 2012.

Good luck to both the Retrievers and Terps!

Complete College Cup bracket

Olympians head to Maryland!

Pictured R-L, Casey Eichfeld, Jeff Larimer, Scott Parsons, Caroline Queen, Eric Hurd

The 2012 U.S. Olympic team members for Canoe/Kayak Slalom will be coming to the Adventure Sports Center International (ASCI) for the Deep Creek Open and the U.S. National Championships being held September 8-9.   There are 80 countries (with over 1000 elite athletes) in the world with slalom programs; of those, only 30 qualified at least 1 athlete for the Olympics; of those 30 countries – only 9 had talented enough athletes to be able to compete in all four classes.   The United States was one of those 9 countries.  Additionally of the five Olympic athletes, two are from Maryland – Caroline Queen and Scott Parsons and a third, Casey Eichfeld has spent considerable time here, training and being a raft guide at ASCI.  Admission to the races is free and spectators are welcome to come and meet the athletes and cheer them on as they compete at ASCI.

Maryland Olympians Update: Ashley Nee, USA Canoe/Kayak

Nee Places 28th in France

Final Recap: Slalom World Cup No. 2
Ashley Nee (Darnestown, Md.) closed out the Slalom World Cup No. 2 with a 28th place finish Sunday in the Women’s Kayak semifinal. Nee finished in 218.13, including penalties for two missed gates. Nee and the rest of Team USA will look to finish the World Cup circuit strong next weekend in La Seu d’Urgell, Spain.

Click HERE for complete results from Pau, France.

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Monster Trucks in the Endzone

When we left the paddock at M&T on Friday afternoon, Maryland was under a tornado watch from the heavy winds and violent thunderstorms — both of which dropped by that night.

But as often happens, the day after the havoc was blessed with spectacular weather –sunny and cool.   Fans flocked to Camden Yards to enjoy it with the Monster Trucks and their teams.

You can see from the crowd at the afternoon Pit Party that this is a family affair.  While the show didn’t start until 7:00, having the opportunity to visit the behemoths is the best part of the experience.  So the action here started early.

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Marylanders Shine in First Day of Olympic Trials for Canoe Slalom

Reporting somewhat live from Charlotte, North Carolina is Suzanne- one of the leads on the Deep Creek 2014 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championship.

Thursday, April 12th

Lots of excitement here in Charlotte, where 75 athletes are competing to achieve their life long dream of representing their country on the biggest stage of all – the Olympics.  The Road to London comes down to this competition paired with the World Cup in Cardiff Wales in early June.

There are four available Olympic slots – women’s kayak (WK-1), men’s kayak (K-1), men’s canoe (C-1), and men’s double canoe (C-2). The current leaders for two of these call Maryland home.  In a kayak, the paddler sits in the boat and uses a 2-bladed paddle and in a canoe, the paddler sits and uses a single blade paddle.  Both are closed deck boats.

Caroline Queen (Darnestown, Md.) continues her airtight competition with Ashley Nee (Darnestown, Md.). Queen finished with the top overall time in Women’s K1 – a second run time of 124.28, 1.20 seconds faster than Nee’s top time.

Two-time Olympian Scott Parsons (Bethesda, Md.) currently leads the pack by 2.5 seconds in the ultra competitive Men’s K1 class after turning in a second run time of 100.24.

Additionally, Casey Eichfeld (Part-time, McHenry, Md.) is making a strong showing in both C-1 and C-2.

I can’t wait to see what kind of speed we will see today by these amazing athletes who make slicing through the water seem so effortless.

This is my first visit to the whitewater course here in Charlotte. It is a pretty cool facility with lots of activities other than whitewater. The course itself is a traditional manmade course, with high concrete embankments – a sharp contrast to my home course at the Adventure Sports Center International (ASCI) located in Garrett County; where the course not only sits on a mountaintop, but utilized the over 40 million pounds of rock excavated to make the riverbed.