Things are heating up already for Saturday night's lacrosse rematch between Johns Hopkins and Towson State at Towson's Minnegan Stadium in the NCAA quarterfinals.
Hopkins, the No. 5 seed, advanced to that round yesterday by beating No. 12 seed Notre Dame, 15-7, in the first round at Homewood.
The Blue Jays were sloppy in spots, but their coach, Tony Seaman, was not concerned.
"We're playing Saturday," Seaman said, getting right to the heart of the matter.
Towson, which beat Hopkins, 14-13, in the final second of play at Homewood nine days ago, is the No. 4 seed. The top four seeds had byes this weekend.
Seaman said "revenge" for the May 2 loss to Towson will not be his team's motivation this time. Said Seaman: "By the third quarter, there won't be one player on our team who's thinking about that last game."
Nevertheless, Seaman announced -- in front of seniors Scott Giardina, Jeff Wills and Adam Wright -- that this week "will be the hardest week of practice a Hopkins team has had under my leadership." Wills groaned in anticipation of it.
* Notre Dame lacrosse coach Kevin Corrigan said his team "didn't come to Baltimore just to look respectable and lose 15-7." His Irish team, he said, came to Hopkins to win.
Notre Dame, which has no lacrosse scholarships, did make a respectable showing, however. Some of the Hopkins players noted the progress the Irish have made since the two schools played a fall ball exhibition at South Bend in 1989.
Explained Giardina: "We beat 'em 23-3 that time. This time they came out and played a good game. Three years from now they'll be right there."
* The Hopkins players wore black on their helmets yesterday in memory of George Pohler, their 85-year-old "ballboy" who died last Thursday.
Pohler, who wore Sherlock Holmes hats and smoked cigars, has been backing up the goal at Hopkins practices as well as at all home and road games since 1967. He was at his familiar post when Maryland beat Hopkins at Homewood three weeks ago. The Blue Jays dedicated this NCAA tournament to Pohler.
* Loyola College is eliminated from the tournament after its 19-12 loss to Brown here Saturday. The visitors from Providence, R.I., won convincingly behind the nine-goal effort of Oliver Marti and the overall brilliant play of attackman Darren Lowe, who had three goals and five assists, plus excellent goaltending by Pat Flynn, a graduate of Calvert Hall.
Despite its impressive win at Loyola, No. 10 Brown will be the underdog Saturday against defending NCAA champion and No. 2 seed North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Marti didn't help his team's cause when he said of the Tar Heels: "They won't know what hit them."
I know for a fact that Marti's quote went up on the Carolina locker room bulletin board yesterday.
* If you're attending any of the Maryland Preakness Celebration events going on now, you have a lot of company. Last year this 10-day, 100-event extravaganza drew 700,000 people. Before it's all over this week, it should draw even more.
* Tom Finnegan, better known as the winningest basketball coach in Washington College's history, may be voted Coach of the Year -- not for basketball, but for what he did this spring in tennis.
Filling the void after the controversial dismissals of Fred Wyman and Holly Bramble as Washington College's men's and women's tennis coaches, Finnegan -- who is a teaching tennis pro -- coached the men to a spot in their seventh straight NCAA tournament starting tomorrow in Kalamazoo, Mich. He also directed the women to their first-ever NCAA tournament starting Thursday at Emory University in Atlanta. Effective July 1, the Shoremen will be coached by alumnus Tim Gray.