There wasn't so much as a whimper from the four Maryland teams about their seedings for the NCAA lacrosse tournament.
From Dave Cottle, coach of eighth-seeded Loyola, came these words: "We knew we'd be No. 7 or 8. If we'd had a better season, we wouldn't have had to worry about it. We probably would have been fighting for No. 5 or 6."
From Dick Edell of No. 7 Maryland: "I like our draw. I'm excited."
From Carl Runk of No. 11 Towson State: "It's been a long season, but a good one, and I'm tickled for the kids. They're deserving. I have no problem with No. 11. One through four are reserved for the elite, and as you go down the list the teams are close. We have parity in the sport."
And this from Tony Seaman of No. 4 Johns Hopkins: "We figured this was the way it would go. We're excited and ready."
In sum, there were no surprises yesterday when the NCAA selection committee announced the seedings for the 12-team tournament, which will start Wednesday with four first-round games.
The only team in last week's top 12 of the coaches' poll that isn't in the tournament is Duke. The Blue Devils lost out to Michigan State, the West qualifier. The team that is decreed the best in the West receives an automatic bid.
"The committee did its homework," Cottle said approvingly.
Johns Hopkins, as the No. 4 in the latest poll, figured to be the fourth seed. The Blue Jays will play the Syracuse-Michigan State winner Sunday at Homewood Field.
On Wednesday, No. 9 Massachusetts is at No. 8 Loyola, No. 10 Rutgers is at No. 7 Maryland, No. 11 Towson State is at No. 6 Virginia and No. 12 Michigan State is at No. 5 Syracuse.
Rutgers was placed ahead of Towson not because of its 7-5 record but on the strength of its schedule. Committee chairman Dave Urick of Georgetown pointed out that the Scarlet Knights played nine teams in the top 20.
"Rutgers' schedule is very impressive," Urick said. "It was a close call between Rutgers and Towson."
Rutgers scrimmaged Maryland in February. It was a three-way session, with Yale also included. Edell recalls that the Terps' 30-minute half against Rutgers "was about even." Maryland might have received a first-round bye if it hadn't been upset nine days ago by UMBC.
The committee's concern about Maryland was that its playing arena is Denton Field during the renovation of Byrd Stadium. The Terps haven't charged admission to their games this season in part because spectators can see from a bank beyond the fence.
"I checked it myself," Urick said. "They can do a few things that will make it a viable site. An admission charge is required. The crowd has to be controlled and the view from outside prevented."
Said Edell, "We'll close it down and sell tickets. I was apprehensive for a while about our having a home game, but it's going to work out."
Towson edged Virginia by a couple of goals in a preseason scrimmage, but Runk is reluctant to place much stock in that because it was a "controlled" session. All he knows is he's delighted Towson is included.
"Last year we were 11-2 and turned down," Runk said. "That left us stunned. Making the tournament -- that's what the season is all about."