Maryland vs. Towson in May time for another surprise?

In must game 6 years ago, Terps' Dougherty debuted

Men's notebook

May 05, 1999|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,SUN STAFF

When Maryland last played Towson in May in men's lacrosse, Terrapins coach Dick Edell gambled with a last-minute hunch.

After warm-ups, Edell decided to start for the first time a little-known freshman goalie named Brian Dougherty, who helped the desperate Terrapins to much-needed victories over the Tigers and UMBC for an NCAA tournament bid and later became a two-time Goalkeeper of the Year.

Six years and a day after that switch, No. 10 Maryland is again playing at Minnegan Stadium in a game previously snowed out. And Maryland is again in a must-win situation for an NCAA tournament invitation.

So will there again be another intuitive lineup change tonight?

"I don't have a hidden agenda like that," Edell said. "There's nothing up my sleeve this time, I promise you that. But I'd sure like to have Brian back again."

One player who will definitely be in the lineup tonight is attackman Scott Hochstadt, who didn't practice last week because of a hip injury before scoring a season-high six goals in a win at Yale on Saturday. Hochstadt has accounted for 10 of the Terrapins' last 14 goals in a critical stretch.

Edell has called Maryland's final regular-season games a playoff run, meaning one loss and the Terrapins might be in jeopardy of missing the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1990. Maryland's eight consecutive appearances is the fifth-longest current streak in Division I.

"I'm making sure they know what the picture is," Edell said. "If we look past any of our last two games, we might end our season quicker than it has ended in a long time."

Record-avoidance mode

Let's see how much incentive there is in trying to avoid a school record.

When No. 15 North Carolina plays host to top-ranked Loyola on Saturday, the Tar Heels (6-8) will be looking to sidestep their first nine-loss season in school history. North Carolina clinched its third straight losing season by falling to Duke on April 23, after two losses in a three-game, five-day road trip.

"I probably should get my head checked out for scheduling three road games in five days," said Carolina coach Dave Klarmann, whose Tar Heels are the last team to defeat Loyola in the regular season.

New league?

Lacrosse's premier league could take shape in two weeks.

The Southern Atlantic Men's Lacrosse Alliance, which would combine the four Atlantic Coast Conference lacrosse schools with two other members, is scheduled to be voted on by faculty representatives from all nine ACC institutions at the next conference meeting from May 16-19.

Loyola has agreed to be included in the new league, but the other popular candidate, Johns Hopkins, remains undecided, Hopkins athletic director Tom Calder said. If those schools would join the SAMLA, the new federation would have half of the teams now ranked in the top 10, including the top four.

The ACC, however, would still continue to hold a conference tournament as well as naming a separate all-conference team.

Streak vs. streak

It will be winning streak vs. rout streak when No. 9 Hofstra plays host to No. 2 Hopkins Saturday.

The Flying Dutchmen have won 10 games in a row, but four have been decided by two goals or fewer. Then there are the Blue Jays, winners of nine straight, who have ripped their past seven opponents by an average margin of nearly 12.

Stat of the week

Maryland (8-4), which plays Towson and UMBC this week, has recorded four or more losses in the regular season seven times this decade. A look at how the Terrapins have fared in the NCAA tournament in their previous six seasons with at least four regular-season defeats:

Year, Rec., NCAA finish

1990, 7-5, No postseason

1991, 8-4, Semifinalist

1992, 8-4, Quarterfinalist

1993, 6-5, First round

1994, 7-5, First round

1997, 8-4, NCAA runner-up

Pub Date: 5/05/99

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