John Blatchley, the key to Towson State's offense, is questionable for Saturday's game against Loyola. The senior attackman suffered a rib cartilage separation in last week's win over C.W. Post, leaving in the second quarter with no goals and one assist. His chances of playing in the 33rd Towson-Loyola meeting are listed as 50-50.
With 113 career assists, including nine this season, Blatchley is 20 shy of the school record, set by Bob Griebe from 1972 to 1975.
* INSTANT STAR: Loyola coach Dave Cottle makes it plain what he thinks about freshman goalie Tim McGeeney: "He's our best RTC player, and has had the most impact. Since last fall, he has answered every challenge. He's still a freshman, and could falter, but he's playing as well as anyone we've ever had in the goal."
Although the Greyhounds absorbed their first loss Sunday, to top-ranked Syracuse, McGeeney had 27 saves.
* BATLEY RETURNING: UMBC midfielder Jamie Batley, who has missed five games with a strained back, is expected back this week, if not today against West Chester, then Saturday against Penn State. A sophomore, Batley was the Retrievers' No. 3 scorer last season.
"He does a lot of things for us," said coach Dick Watts. "He's a good faceoff man, a scoring threat inside the box and he's a leader. We've struggled some on the midfield without him."
UMBC attackman Steve Marohl was named East Coast Conference Player of the Week based on the strength of his 10 goals and 16 assists in three games last week.
* ALMOST, NOT QUITE: North Carolina is almost as fast and athletic as Syracuse, which, in Johns Hopkins coach Tony Seaman's opinion, is the fastest team in college lacrosse. The Blue Jays have beaten Syracuse and face North Carolina Saturday.
Seaman didn't have to search for an explanation for the Jays' upset loss to Virginia, their first of the season: "The first three games we shot well. Against Virginia, we didn't. Instead of shooting high to low, the goalie's weakness, we shot high to high and he made the saves."
* DOZIER DUE BACK: Navy's Brian Dozier, a midfielder out of Loyola High who missed the past four games with a strained groin muscle, is probable for Saturday's Army game.
If the Mids (5-2) win, they'll have their first six-game winning streak since they started 6-0 in 1989. That was the last year they reached the NCAA tournament.
The status of Army and Navy is almost identical to last year. Then as now, Navy had two losses and was No. 10 in the USILA poll; also then as now, Army had one defeat and was No. 14. The Cadets won that one in double overtime.