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The Maryland women's basketball team, which went 28-7 last season, was ranked No. 8 in the USA Today preseason coaches poll, released Monday. ESPN, which on Monday ranked the Terps tied with Duke for sixth in the nation, wrote: "The shift [to the Big Ten Conference] will be strange for a program so connected to the ACC, but playing without the school's all-time best player, Alyssa Thomas, might be harder to get used to, at least initially. Duplicating last season's Final Four run might be asking too much, but Brenda Frese's good work in the recruiting trenches will keep the Terrapins among the nation's upper echelon. Athletic sophomores [Lexie] Brown, [Aberdeen's] Brionna Jones and [Shatori] Walker-Kimbrough are now the backbone." Maryland, which defeated Division II Goldey-Beacom, 103-43, in its first exhibition and faces Division II UDC on Saturday in its second exhibition, opens the season Nov. 14 against visiting Mount St. Mary's.

Redskins

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Despite defeat, Gruden encouraged by Griffin's play

Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden said he was encouraged by what he saw from Robert Griffin III in the quarterback's first game since he dislocated his left ankle in Week 2. The coach said Griffin had some obvious struggles but did enough to give his team a chance to beat the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. However, Gruden acknowledged conceded that serious questions remain about the quarterback position. "Robert did some good things," Gruden said of Griffin, who completed 18 of 28 passes for 251 yards, a touchdown and an interception. His interception came with 1:04 left in the first half, when he and his offense got the ball back with a chance to add to a 10-0 lead before halftime. He threw the ball to the inside on what should have been an out route to Andre Roberts. Griffin had a chance to lead a game-winning drive, but on fourth-and-6, he threw an incomplete pass to Pierre Garcon, killing Washington's chances.

Mike Jones, The Washington Post

Colleges

Men's soccer: Salisbury senior defender Logan Becker was awarded Capital Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors. … Goucher senior defender Brandon Weiner was named Landmark Conference Defensive Player of the Week. … Johns Hopkins senior defensive lineman Michael Rocca was named the Centennial Conference Defensive Player of the Week.

Women's soccer: Navy junior defender Jade Seabrook was named All-Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week. She led a Navy back line that shut out eight opponents this year including the final five Patriot League foes. Seabrook is fourth on the mids in scoring with 10 points (four goals, two assists), including a game-winner.

Diving: Loyola Maryland sophomore Noel Theroux was named Patriot League Male Diver of the Week.

From Sun staff and news services

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