Senior forward Patrick Mullins is the face of Maryland men’s soccer – and for good reason. The reigning Hermann Trophy winner is tied for first in Division I in points with 38 and tied for third in the country in goals with 15.
But freshman Michael Sauers is also contributing in the Terps' postseason run.
The Glen Arm native and Archbishop Curley graduate ranks fourth among the No. 5-seeded Terps (14-3-5) in goals (four) and sixth in points (nine). And in the team’s past four games, he has two goals and one assist – including the lone tally in a 1-0 overtime win against Clemson in the semifinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament on Nov. 15 and the first goal in a 3-1 victory over Providence in the second round of the NCAA tournament Sunday.
“He’s an extremely skillful player and has great attacking instincts,” said Maryland coach Sasho Cirovski, whose team plays host to No. 12 UC-Irvine in a third-round game Sunday at 5 p.m.
“He’s an honest two-way player. He’s been a great contributor all year long, and his goal against Providence was absolute brilliant. He took two guys and made a great move, and the finish was quite a goal. So he’s a young man that we felt was going to get better every year, but he’s almost ahead of schedule in his first year with us.”
Sauers, an All-Metro selection last year, has played in 20 games for the Terps (13 starts). He says he doesn’t care if he’s coming off the bench.
“I just have the mentality that when I’m in, when I’m on the field, I just do my best – 100 percent,” Sauers said. “I think that’s what every guy on our team does, which is why we’re winning games.”
Sauers is listed as a defender, but Cirovski said he has no hesitation about lining him up elsewhere.
“Michael’s the type of player who can play virtually anywhere on the field besides maybe center back,” Cirovski said. “For us, he’s played some left back, some left midfield, some attacking midfield. We saw in high school and D.C. United Academy that he played up as a power piece. He’s a very versatile player. Like I said, he’s got very good soccer I.Q. and very good technical skills. He seems to be comfortable in a lot of places.”