When Johns Hopkins lacrosse coach Tony Seaman talks about goalie Scott Giardina, there is no hedging.
"Giardina is the best goalie in the college game," Seaman said. "Last year he was way underrated. He made honorable mention All-America, but we played nine ranked teams, which meant he faced strong players every week."
Giardina, a senior and one of the team's four captains, will be tested Saturday, when Hopkins entertains No. 1 Syracuse. Giardina faced the Orangemen twice last season, first in an 18-12 victory and again in a season-ending 11-8 loss in the NCAA tournament quarterfinals.
"Scott has it together," Seaman said. "He's a great stopper, clearer and passer, and he's a good athlete when he comes out of the cage."
Armed with a 3.6 grade-point average and majoring in social behavior, Giardina has been accepted by two law schools (Michigan and Chicago) and is waiting to hear from Yale and Pennsylvania.
* Quick starts: Loyola is off to its usual fast start at 3-0. In their first three games of the past seven years, the Greyhounds are 20-1. Saturday's upset of defending NCAA champion North Carolina was their ninth straight home-opener win.
With 83 victories in nine-plus seasons, Dave Cottle is the winningest coach in Loyola's 52 years of lacrosse. His record since the start of 1988 is 45-10.
* Second thoughts: In retrospect, Maryland coach Dick Edell thinks he may have "done a disservice to the kids by over-scheduling" the first few weeks of the season.
He laments now that the Terps had overnight trips to Duke and
Adelphi in the seven days leading up to Saturday's 13-9 loss to Towson State. Maryland had two days to prepare for the game; Towson had two weeks.
"Those trips so close together took their toll, definitely," Edell said. "You need a week to prepare for Towson."* Marked man: After leading Division I with 75 points (38 goals, 37 assists) last year, Mount St. Mary's attackman Charlie Horning expected to be a marked man this season.
He has been just that. In four games, he has eight goals and 10 assists, but he has yet to lead the Mount in goals in a game. Dave Gorelick and Jeff McBride have 11 goals each.
"Charlie has good skills, but he realizes our schedule is stronger and that he's attracting a lot of attention from the other team's best defenseman," said coach Dan Whelan.
* New position: Navy junior Matt Pawlikowski has five assists in three games, only two shy of his total the previous two years. Switched from midfield to attack, he leads Navy with four goals, five assists.