The University of Maryland will open the 1992 lacrosse season for local teams at 3 p.m. today, when the Terps meet Franklin & Marshall at Byrd Stadium.
The game appears to be a tuneup for Maryland, which went 10-5 a year ago and played in the Final Four. The Terps play one of the toughest schedules in the country; the Diplomats, a Division III team with 13 freshmen and six sophomores on its 1992 roster, were 6-8 last season.
Maryland coach Dick Edell isn't as concerned with the Diplomats as he is with the Terps. Edell needs to find capable replacements for attackmen Mark Douglas and Rob Wurzburger, seniors who accounted for 128 of the team's 283 goals a year ago.
"They were two of the best that ever played here," Edell said. "We don't have a kid who can achieve what Mark or Rob did. What we're going to need is for several of our seniors [11 total] to step forward, and then get more scoring from our midfield.
"This group has been working hard the last six weeks, and we're ready to get rolling, ready to play," Edell said. "We've only played in the stadium once during the last two years, and we're thrilled to be returning to Byrd."
Maryland is looking to senior attackman Chris Dail (15 goals, 13 assists) to pick up some of the scoring slack. Dail started with Douglas and Wurzburger a year ago, but wasn't considered as highly skilled as a scorer.
To get more offensive production, Edell has taken senior Blake Wynot (15, 10) from the midfield and given him work on the attack. The transition should not prove difficult for Wynot, who came to Maryland as an attackman. Junior Scott McMahon, sophomores Matt Park, Al Staker and Jeff Archambault and true freshmen Mike Bordi and Rob Chomo also are likely to play on attack.
As usual, Maryland is loaded with midfielders, led by senior Dave Willard. The Terps defense is sound and is paced by senior Brian Burlace, generally considered the best defenseman in the country, and senior goalkeeper Steve Kavovit, who had 224 saves last season while allowing only 143 goals.
Franklin & Marshall is led by midfielders Alex Hendrickson (38, 15) and junior Sean Reilly (23, 5).
"Last year we went to the Final Four, but our players realized that was the 1991 team," Edell said. "The 1992 season starts today, and we have some goals to achieve."
NOTES: Guy Hays, coordinator of certification and student services within Maryland's athletic department, will be leaving the school in mid-March. Hays said yesterday that he was leaving to pursue a doctoral degree, but several officials within the athletic department said athletic director Andy Geiger was not happy with Hays' performance. Geiger was not available for comment. . . . Mike Vasalini, one of Maryland's strength and conditioning coaches, is also strength coach at Gallaudet University, on a part-time basis.