Up north, schools brush off problems with bad weather

UMass, New York teams unfazed by snow, cold


College Lacrosse

March 07, 2001|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

Feet frozen, they mush on through March.

Sled dogs in the Iditarod?

Yes, but lacrosse players do that, too.

While a weather forecast has the power to turn otherwise sane Baltimoreans into jabbering prophets of doom, our hearty friends to the north deal with reality, keep their artificial turf fields plowed and endeavor to play on.

Greg Cannella looked out his office window in Amherst, Mass., yesterday morning, saw 14 inches of snow on the ground and more coming down. Richard F. Garber Field was clean, however, because the UMass grounds crew had worked 28 straight hours to tidy up the home of the ninth-ranked Minutemen. The New England area might get hit with another winter storm later this week, but Cannella said there are no plans to postpone Saturday's visit by No. 19 Navy.

"If we needed to play the Navy game [yesterday], the grounds crew could brush the field off and we'd go," said Cannella, a 35-year-old coach who played for UMass before it had an artificial turf field.

In upstate New York, Hobart and Nazareth are considering pooling their Saturday dates and playing a doubleheader at one of the two schools, or at the Carrier Dome. Army is supposed to go to Geneva for a crucial Patriot League test against the Statesmen. Washington is scheduled to head to Rochester in one of the weekend's better Division III tests.

"It's not as bad here as we feared," said B.J. O'Hara, the Hobart coach. "We got about 10 inches of snow, the wind is blowing and it's nasty, but we thought we were going to get it worse than this."

Maryland, incidentally, did not postpone yesterday's visit from No. 12 Bucknell because of the threat of inclement weather. A Maryland spokesman said that Bucknell's campus in Lewisburg, Pa., was shut down by poor conditions Monday, so the game was pushed back to March 27.

Charles Street exchange

Long, heated battles for the goalie jobs at No. 5 Loyola and No. 8 Johns Hopkins have taken some interesting turns.

Mark Bloomquist, a sophomore from North County, won the position at Loyola, but Greyhounds coach Dave Cottle yanked him at the half against Hofstra and went back to last year's starter, Jason Born, a junior from Mount St. Joe. Loyola is spending spring break in Florida, and who knows who will get the nod at No. 9 Duke on Saturday.

Rob Scherr said that the "crowd knew before I did" that he would start for Hopkins at Princeton, as Blue Jays coach Dave Pietramala hid his hand until the last minute. A sophomore from McDonogh, Scherr had an impressive collegiate debut, and did little that left the door open for junior Nick Murtha.

Heat on Hofstra

Can a team start 0-5 and make the NCAA tournament?

No. 16 Hofstra could.

The Pride has already been upset by UMass and lost at No. 5 Loyola. It returns to Baltimore on Saturday for a game at Johns Hopkins, and St. Patrick's Day sends No. 2 Princeton to Long Island to test Hofstra. Week five doesn't offer a let-up in No. 7 Notre Dame. Coach John Danowski's team will definitely have been tested by the time it begins play in the America East Conference.

The winner of the America East tournament is an automatic qualifier to the NCAAs. That's the route Hofstra took to its fourth NCAA berth in six seasons last year.

Who to root for?

When No. 3 Maryland goes to No. 20 Towson on Saturday, don't expect the Terps to get a chilly reception at Minnegan Stadium.

Terps coach Dick Edell is a member of the Towson Hall of Fame, and three of his top point producers are the sons of Tigers coaches. Maryland's most experienced attackman is Andrew "Buggs" Combs, whose father, Gordy, is the head coach of the Tigers' football team. Lynda Filbert, an assistant coach on the Towson women's gymnastic team, has two sons on the Terps' team, midfielder Mike Lamonica and attackman Dan Lamonica.

Player of the Week

Combs. The St. Paul's grad matched his career high with five goals in a surprisingly easy 13-5 win over Duke.

Game of the Week

Army at Hobart, Saturday. Bucknell is going to have a say, but with the Patriot League sending its regular-season champion to the NCAA tournament, the Army-Hobart winner will get a leg up in the race for that automatic qualifier.

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