Hopkins-Maryland has old magic

April 14, 1995|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,Sun Staff Writer

No. 1 Johns Hopkins (7-0) at No. 3 Maryland (7-1) tomorrow. It's not just a game. It's The Game.

"We've had some big games recently, like two years ago when we had to beat Towson State to make the playoffs, or in 1993 when we had to beat Virginia to get into the playoffs, but crowd and excitement-wise, yeah, nothing like this," said Maryland coach Dick Edell.

The game will be shown on a delayed basis Monday at 8 p.m. on ESPN2 (delayed basis is as big as it gets for lacrosse), and has a lot of subplots.

It will be the first time the Blue Jays' talented attack of Dave Marr, Terry Riordan and Brian Piccola will be challenged by a defense -- led by by Dan Radebaugh, Paal Elfstrum, Dave LaChapelle and goalie Brian Dougherty -- that is just as big as the Hopkins trio.

The Blue Jays seem to have an edge in talent, especially in the midfield with faceoff specialist Peter Jacobs. But if Dougherty has his usual stellar game and the Terps get to Blue Jays goalie Jonathan Marcus early, they could upset Johns Hopkins.

The Blue Jays lead the series, 46-34-1.

"This is a great matchup that rekindles some of the intensity that the Hopkins-Maryland rivalry had in its glory days," said Hopkins coach Tony Seaman.

Betcher's comeback

It's been a long way back for Rich Betcher.

He went from being the starting goalie for Towson State in the 1991 championship game against North Carolina to a steel mill in Arbutus, and his journey has finally ended in Salisbury, where he is the starting goalie for Salisbury State's Sea Gulls, currently ranked No. 1 in Division III.

Betcher is 25, and one of many transfers Salisbury State coach Jim Berkman has brought in over the years.

"You have 10 semesters of eligibility," said Betcher, who averaged nearly 15 saves in 15 games during his season with Towson. "This was my last one, and I couldn't go back to Division I.

"The opportunity was good here. Erik Miller finished up last year. I just walked right in. After Towson, I took a couple of years off, played club ball, worked, went back to Long Island.

"I worked in a steel mill in Arbutus, and that was a re-evaluation for me. I'm going to finish up here in the fall and finally get my degree."

Tiger troubles

It's probably the most-asked question of the lacrosse season: What has happened to Towson State?

Try personality and chemistry problems.

Towson had an exceptionally strong fall season, but things began to fall apart for the Tigers after a 6-5 loss to Maryland.

After that game, Tigers goalie Brian Whalen said: "I've never seen a bunch of pansies so afraid of picking up a ground ball out there."

4 And that was only the second game of the season.

Losses to Penn State and Syracuse followed, and then there was a 16-8 smashing by rival Loyola.

Of the eight goals against Loyola, none were assisted. That's almost unheard-of in lacrosse.

So what's the story?

"The expectations were high, and that's where they should be," said Towson coach Carl Runk.

"The Maryland game really hurt us, and it took a little out of us against Penn State. We led until the last five or six minutes of the game, but Penn State was on in that game. We're regaining confidence now, but we still have some work to do."

Runk has moved some players around, most notably Dudley Dixon and Kevin Travis, from attack to midfield. The Tigers (3-4) have won their last two games, against Bucknell and Delaware, and will face Navy Saturday at home.

Aikens recovering

Loyola women's lacrosse coach Diane Aikens was readmitted to a hospital Monday afternoon, but only for complications from an allergic reaction to medication. She is expected to be back home soon, and may return to the Greyhounds' program, at least in some capacity, within another week.

Aikens had surgery in late March to remove a brain tumor, which turned out to be benign.

"She had a rash and a fever from the reaction, but everything is going well," said a spokesman for the athletic department.

Around the crease

Scott Marr, the older brother of Hopkins' Dave Marr, is an assistant coach at Maryland. Children wearing any team jersey will be charged only $1 for a ticket to the Maryland-Hopkins game. All fans must enter through the south gate. . . . Nicole Ripken of Lutherville is the second-leading scorer for Washington and Lee's women's team with 24 goals after 10 games. Ripken, a senior, is in her first season since undergoing six hours of surgery on Jan. 6, 1994, to remove an orange-sized tumor from her cerebellum. It was benign. . . . Navy's slate for the remainder of the season: Towson State, Hopkins, Stony Brook. No postseason? . . . Loyola coach Dave Cottle says his goalie, Tim McGeeney, is the best in the country. Maryland's Edell says the same thing about Dougherty. . . . Ex-Towson attackman John Blatchley is an assistant coach with the Maryland women.

TONIGHT'S GAME

No. 6 LOYOLA (7-1) at UMBC (3-4)

Site: UMBC Stadium

Time: 7:30

Outlook: UMBC leads the series, 14-11, but the Retrievers' last win was in 1987. This appears to be a mismatch, but UMBC has played well lately. The Retrievers will have to slow Loyola's offense, which is led by M Brian Duffy (17 goals, 20 assists) and A Chris Georgalas (18 goals). M Matt Shearer (21, 8) and M Brian Belford (15, 8) pace UMBC's offense, but face perhaps the best goalie in the country in the Greyhounds' Tim McGeeney, who has a 70.4 save percentage and has allowed 6.99 goals per game.

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