There is more riding on Saturday's Maryland-Hopkins game than bragging rights.
For the first time since 1987, the Terps (7-1) are ranked No. 1 in the USILA coaches' poll. Hopkins is ranked No. 4. The winner of this 90th meeting between the two schools is virtually assured of a first-round bye in next month's NCAA tournament.
And the Blue Jays (4-2) would love nothing more than to exact a little payback for last May 27, the day Maryland -- particularly All-American goalie Brian Dougherty -- ruined Hopkins' perfect season with a stunning, 16-8 win in the national semifinals in College Park.
"I don't think the memories are there as much for the kids. Sure, it hurt that day in the locker room after that loss, because we were so good and we lost so badly," Hopkins coach Tony Seaman said. "I and my staff remember that day vividly. It's a bitter disappointment we think about every day. This one is easy to get up for.
"We're the ticket [to the playoffs] for a lot of teams. Now, our bull's-eye is coming to town. They're No. 1. We're the underdogs. We like that."
The Blue Jays have fared well at home against Top 5 teams this spring, having beaten Syracuse and North Carolina while losing to Princeton.
Hopkins will have its hands full against the Terps, and not just because of Dougherty's (13 saves, 8.3 goals allowed per game) imposing presence in the crease.
Maryland's close defense is the toughest in the country, and few teams dig out ground balls as ten- aciously as the Terps do. Hopkins' inconsistent offense will be hard-pressed to sustain an attack. Maryland also will have attackman Peter Hilgartner (18 points) and midfielder Pat McGuire, who missed last week's 11-10 squeaker over Navy with shoulder and hamstring injuries.
But the Blue Jays' biggest obstacle will be overcoming the loss of junior midfielder/faceoff specialist Werner Krueger, who broke his index finger a week ago and probably will not return until early May.
Krueger's absence helps explain why the Blue Jays had to rally to edge Army, 13-12, in overtime last week. Hopkins lost 19 of 28 draws to the Cadets.
A. T. Bailey and Milford Marchant will share the bulk of the faceoff duties for Hopkins. Marchant, who has recovered from the ankle injury that severely limited his practice time for the season's first month, must have a big game for the Blue Jays to taste some revenge.
Hopkins women No. 7
Once again, the women's team at Johns Hopkins is sending out a little reminder to anyone believing that the Blue Jays men are the only ones on campus who play the game well.
The Hopkins women, ranked No. 7 in the USILA Division III poll, are off to a 5-2 start and had won four straight before Thursday's 10-2 loss at Trenton State, the two-time defending national champion.
Hopkins has reached the NCAA tournament semifinals the last two years, losing both times to William Smith (N.Y.) College. But it has a more impressive streak going: 24 straight Centennial Conference victories, dating to the beginning of the 1994 season.
During that time, which coincides with the arrival of coach Janine Tucker, the Blue Jays are 36-6 overall.
In Tuesday's 14-4 victory over Swarthmore, senior attacker Jenn Ward became Hopkins' all-time leading goal scorer with 179, breaking Rebecca Savage's record of 177.
Last year, Ward set the Hopkins record for career points.
Long road for Zimmerman
When he took over at UMBC in 1993, men's coach Don bTC Zimmerman knew rebuilding the Retrievers (2-5) would be a formidable task. Now, as Zimmerman stares at his second straight losing season, he realizes that elevating UMBC to upper-echelon status will take longer than he originally anticipated. Like two more recruiting classes that include talent like attackman Chris Turner and defenseman Jason Quenzer, both out of Boys' Latin.
"I don't think I realized how long it would take [to rebuild] when I first came on board. Parity has set into Division I lacrosse, and there are a lot of good programs for kids to choose from," said Zimmerman, who won three national championships at Hopkins in the 1980s.
Pub Date: 4/11/96