Terps shooting star Hahn zeros in on Tigers again UM attackman's goals decide past 2 meetings

March 08, 1997|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Watch Maryland attackman Matt Hahn. The Towson State defense surely will.

For the past two years, No. 7-ranked Maryland and No. 14 Towson State have engaged in brutal, close lacrosse games. And for the past two years, Hahn has proved to be the difference.

Today, the Terrapins enter Minnegan Stadium with an out-of-sync attack, a banged-up defense, their top faceoff specialist sidelined and a goalkeeper still adjusting to a starter's role.

L It's time for Hahn to step up once again -- and he knows it.

"It's important to get a win," said Hahn, a junior who has three goals this season. "I know we're just 1-1, but our backs are against the wall to get a big win."

Hahn has owned the Tigers the past two seasons. He has scored seven of the Terps' 13 goals, including the two game-winners, in their past two meetings with Towson.

But Hahn hasn't just picked on the Tigers. He has 72 career goals and is on pace to break the Maryland school record of 137 held by Rob Wurzburger (1988-91).

Hahn has led the team in goals as a freshman and sophomore, putting together the second-best back-to-back goal-scoring seasons in Maryland history. He is the youngest Terp to break the 70-goal plateau.

Then there is the streak. Hahn has yet to be shut out, racking up a point in each of his 31 collegiate games.

"I try not to think of the streak, but people seem to bring it up," said Hahn, who played at Georgetown Prep. "It's always in the back of my mind. I would be lying if I said it wasn't. It's mainly because of my position in the crease. If we play our game, I'm going to get five or six shots and hopefully I'll put one in."

Or two or three.

Hahn has posted multiple goals in 23 games, or 74 percent of his contests, including 13 times with three or more goals. Last year, Hahn accounted for a fifth of Maryland's offense, scoring 33 of the Terps' 152 goals, and received honorable mention All-America honors.

Nevertheless, Hahn remains unfazed by success.

"His hat size hasn't ever changed," Maryland coach Dick Edell said. "For what he has accomplished as a freshman, it was like he took a speech course because he always talked about his teammates setting him up."

However, Hahn creates many of those scoring opportunities by himself.

At 6 feet 1, 190 pounds, he frees himself up around the crease by making crisp cuts to the goal. Hahn also has enough strength to get shots off while being banged around by defensemen.

"He does a lot to set himself up," said fellow junior attackman and housemate Andrew Whipple. "He's a great player, a big target, and hangs onto the ball."

For Hahn, playing crease attackman is a mixture of mind games and reactions.

"You get hit a lot but there's a mentality involved," Hahn said. "It's kind of sneaky in there. The defenseman where I'm at has to help a lot in sliding. When he turns his head, you start running."

Since the past two meetings with Towson have been decided by three goals, Hahn may have an opportunity to complete a game-winning hat trick against the Tigers.

"You push for that," Hahn said. "You hope and want to be the one to make that last shot. In my position, you got to want it."

Pub Date: 3/08/97

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