No. 1 Salisbury may have to hit road after 1 game Sea Gulls, No. 2 Ohio Wesleyan could meet in second round

May 06, 1991|By Mike Preston

Salisbury State College will play host to Ithaca College in the first round of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III lacrosse tournament Wednesday but may not get the home-field advantage it expected in the playoffs as the division's top-ranked team.

Salisbury (13-0) was put in the same bracket as No. 2 Ohi Wesleyan (12-3), which plays Washington & Lee (11-3) in the opening round. If both teams win Wednesday, they would meet Sunday, probably at Ohio Wesleyan, because the Battling Bishops were selected the higher seed in the bracket by the selection committee, based mostly on strength of schedule and geographical location.

The news was somewhat of a shock to Salisbury officials, wh didn't learn about the brackets until last night, even though they were released to the media yesterday afternoon.

Salisbury athletic director William Lide said last night that h planned to file either a protest or a letter of concern with the NCAA championship committee.

"My reaction is one of extreme disappointment, not necessarily for who we have to play," said Lide. "We have just completed possibly the greatest lacrosse season in the history of Salisbury, and possibly of any institution, and we are not assured of having the home site other than a quarterfinal game.

"I contend on the behalf of the university that we should have received home-field advantage until the championship game," said Lide. "I don't know if this letter will do us any good by the time the next round begins."

Dave Urick, selection committee chairman and coachat Division I Georgetown, said the field was not seeded overall and that a number of factors were involved in the pairings.

Urick said NCAA officials wanted to keep the cost of first-roun games low and requested that a team not have to travel 400 miles or fly in the first round. Urick also added that location figured in making the brackets.

"We didn't want two of the strongest teams matching up early, said Urick, a former head coach at Hobart.

"But assuming that both teams [Salisbury and Ohio Wesleyan] advance, the next game would probably be at Ohio Wesleyan," said Urick. "The committee felt that Ohio Wesleyan played a stronger schedule. There are other factors that come into play, such as availability of the stadium, compatibility of sites, locker rooms, crowd control, the field itself, seeding and revenue."

Lide said: "Basically, I was told team geography and strength o schedule were the two biggest factors. Now if you look at our schedule, we played Washington College and Cortland State, and traditionally, they have been in the upper echelon of our division. Now we have no control over what they do each year, and if they have an off-year, it is not our fault. We don't think the reasoning is adequate."

If there was one team to gain an advantage from yesterday' seedings, it was 11-time defending champion Hobart, which was put in the same bracket with Clarkson, Nazareth and Gettysburg. The No. 5-ranked Statesmen (5-6) play host to No. 9 Clarkson (10-3), and No. 4 Nazareth (11-1) plays at third-ranked Gettysburg (12-1) on Wednesday. Times for all games are expected to be announced today.

This will be the 13th appearance in postseason play for Salisbur since the school started playing lacrosse in 1974. This will be the Sea Gulls' third consecutive appearance under head coach Jim Berkman, who was unavailable for comment last night.

Salisbury advanced to the semifinals last season beating Franklin and Marshall, 17-7, in the opening round but losing, 23-5, to Hobart.

USILA Division III poll

The United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association's Division III coaches' poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Sunday and total points:

No. School.... ..... ... Record... ... ... .. Pts.

1. Salisbury State (9).... 13-0.... ..... ... 217

Ohio Wesleyan (1).. ... 12-3.. .... ... .. 207

3. Gettysburg (1)... ... ..12-1... ... ... .. 200

4. Nazareth.... ... ... .. 11-1... ... ... .. 184

5. Hobart.... ... ... .... 5-6... .... ..... 174

6. Washington & Lee... ... 11-3.. .... ... .. 165

7. Ithaca... ... .. ... ... 9-2... .... ..... 148

8. Middlebury... ... .... ..8-2... .. ... ....124

Clarkson... .. ... .... 10-3... ... ... ...111

10. Alfred.... .. ... .....13-3... ... .. ....104

RIT... ... ..... .. ....8-5... .... ... .. 99

12. Williams.. .. .. ... ..10-0... .. ... .... 92

13. Wooster.. .. ... ... . 12-4.... .... .. .. 88

13. Roanoke... ... .. .. .. 8-6... ... ... ... 80

15. Bowdoin.... .... .. .. 14-2... .. .. .. .. 68

16. Hartwick... ... .. ... 10-5... ... ... ... 62

17. Whittier.... .. ... .. 20-0.... ... ...... 48

18. Cortland State.... .... 7-8.. .. .. .. ... 34

19. Washington, Md... .. .. 3-8... .... ...... 19

20. Union, N.Y... ... .... 11-2... ... ... ... 18

Division III tourney pairings

Quarterfinals

Wednesday

Nazareth at Gettysburg

Clarkson at Hobart

Ithaca at Salisbury State

Washington & Lee at Ohio Wesleyan

Semifinals

May 12, sites to be determined: Nazareth-Gettysburg winner vs. Clarkson-Hobart winner

Ithaca-Salisbury State winner vs. Washington & Lee-Ohio Wesleyan winner

Final

May 18, at a home site

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