Rob Chomo will be easy to spot when St. Mary's takes the lacrosse field at UMBC tomorrow.
The Saints' four-year starter will be wearing a roll and a half of white tape around his thighs to prevent his tender hamstrings from ripping. It has been a frustrating -- not to mention painful -- season for the otherwise solidly built attackman.
"It's unfortunate that this [injury] had to happen at the beginning of the season," said Chomo. A recurrence of the injury prevented him from practicing for two weeks before he helped the Saints defeat Boys' Latin, 6-4, on Tuesday and advance to their first ever MSA A Conference championship against St. Paul's tomorrow (5 p.m.). WITH-AM (1230) will broadcast the game live, beginning at 4:45.
"Rob's doctor told me to use him sparingly [in the semifinals], but Rob said he felt good at halftime, so we let him run more than we expected in the third quarter and we scored four goals," said St. Mary's coach Jim Moorhead. "Obviously, it helps us if Rob is able to run."
Chomo was a second-team All-Metro attackman as a junior, but his offensive production has been greatly limited this spring by his leg miseries. Still, it was Chomo who intercepted an errant pass in front of the Boys' Latin goal on Tuesday and scored to ignite the Saints' third-quarter surge.
"It just feels great to be going to [the championship at] UMBC," he said. "If we can't get up for the MSA championship, we shouldn't even be on the field."
Chomo figured he would not be on the field yesterday and today for practice, opting for therapy on his legs in preparation for tomorrow's game.
"I've been going five times a week," he said of the therapy sessions, which include ice, ultrasound and electrical stimulation. "It just takes time, but I'll be ready to run."
The Saints will need an extra set of legs because two players -- defenders Mike Murray and Todd Harrison -- are ineligible for tomorrow's contest. Both were ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct in the semifinals and drew an automatic one-game suspension. Boys' Latin's Sam Cefalu and Kevin Bryan also were ejected following the brief scuffle precipitated by a pushing foul with 1:46 remaining.
Also at UMBC tomorrow, Park will meet Poly for the B Conference championship at 1 p.m., followed by the BB Conference and C Conference title games at 3 p.m. Friends will test John Carroll for the BB championship on the stadium field, while Forest Park will face Lake Clifton for the C title on the