This season, Morgan State knows how to come back COLLEGES

September 29, 1993|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Staff Writer

If Morgan State's football season turns out well for a change, the Bears probably will look back at Saturday's stunning, 38-21 victory at dwich Virginia Union as the year's turning point.

Things started out typically for the Bears. Penalties and porous defense resulted in a 21-3 deficit early in the second quarter. Then, quarterback Maurice Chase, as he had done in the opener against Charleston Southern, relieved struggling Orlando Persell and sent the Bears on a five-touchdown ride.

Chase completed 17 of 32 passes for 282 yards and three touchdowns. Wide receiver Jesse Humphrey (five catches, 119 yards, one touchdown) and running back Tony Phillips (22 carries, 83 yards, one touchdown) continued to dig out of early-season slumps.

Defensive tackle Matt Steeple (38 tackles, seven sacks) had three sacks to keep his fine season going. The same goes for kicker Shane Griffith, who kicked five extra points and a field goal. He has made four of five field-goal attempts and is 16-for-16 in point-after attempts.

The Bears, looking for their first winning season in 14 years under third-year coach Ricky Diggs (5-21), head into this weekend's bye with a 2-2 record. Last year, Morgan State started out 2-2 and did not win another game.

"One big difference I've found between this team and last year's team is this team knows how to battle adversity," Diggs said. "Our defense has found some confidence. The offensive line hasn't allowed a sack since the Bethune-Cookman game [week 2]. Our offense doesn't care what the score is. They feel they can score at any time."

With Saturday's comeback, the Bears answered some questions about their heart. Now they need to fix some pressing problems.

Their offensive line, hurt by the loss of four starters, continues to have problems opening holes for Phillips. Their defense is still giving up 300 rushing yards a game. And the Bears have been penalized an average of 10 times for 81 yards. Each of those reasons helps explain why Morgan State has struggled early in its games.

In the first quarter, opponents have outscored the Bears 56-13.

Greyhounds catch up to Top 20

With its 1-0 victory over No. 14 Fresno State on Sunday, the men's soccer team at Loyola College has cracked the nation's Top 20 for the first time since the end of the 1987 regular season. The Greyhounds (8-1), who have won six straight -- all shutouts -- are ranked 20th.

The victory over Fresno State left 14-year coach Bill Sento three victories shy of the school-record 178 by Jim Bullington (1964-1979).

Thanks largely to its traditionally soft Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference schedule, the Greyhounds are putting up some eye-catching numbers. They've outscored opponents 33-2, outshot them 201-87, and have recorded every victory by shutout. Only a 2-1, overtime loss to Stanford in the Met Life Classic in San Francisco has kept Loyola from an undefeated season.

Marc Harrison leads the team with 17 points (seven goals, three assists), including three two-goal performances.

Defensively, freshman Zach Thornton, who played at Essex Community College and John Carroll High School, continues to impress. Thornton, 6 feet 2, 210 pounds, has seven shutouts. With a 0.27 goals-against average, he leads the South Atlantic Region and is ranked fourth in the nation.

UMBC: Keeping up in goal

Speaking of goalkeepers, an unsettled situation at that position helps to explain why the UMBC men's team, which has a 5-1 record, has yet to record a shutout. The Retrievers already have surrendered 12 goals. Youth and injuries have played key roles in the defensive shortcomings.

Freshman goalie C. J. Norton, last fall's Washington Post Player of the Year at Rockville High School, broke his finger in the team's first scrimmage and may not return until mid-October. Second-stringer Jesse Haislip then suffered a head injury -- requiring 10 stitches -- in a collision during the Retrievers' second game, a 3-1 victory at Maryland.

That forced net duties upon freshman Todd Compton, who has struggled behind a defense that includes two freshman fullbacks, Olivier Bityeki and Caleb DeSouza.

Goucher: 21 and counting

The volleyball team at Goucher College keeps humming along, having won last week's Lebanon Valley College Invitational and its Capital Athletic Conference opener to improve its record to 21-0.

Senior middle hitter Cassandra Clemons (Loch Raven), junior setter Laurie Bender (Parkville) and sophomore outside hitter Karen Levi made the all-tournament team after leading Goucher to a 6-0 sweep. The Gophers already have surpassed last season's 20 victories.

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