Hopkins men to hit soccer playoff road again

Salisbury loses game, No. 1 field hockey spot

Notebook

Colleges

October 19, 2001|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Imagine how Johns Hopkins men's soccer coach Matt Smith must feel.

He has coached the Blue Jays in 16 straight postseason tournament games over the past seven years and is still waiting to play his first tournament game at home.

The reason is simple.

The Division III soccer selection committees from the NCAA and Eastern College Athletic Conference prefer playing their tournament games on grass instead of artificial surfaces like the one that covers Homewood Field.

So Hopkins (12-2 overall, 6-0 Centennial Conference) is prepared to hit the road again in a few weeks.

This season the Blue Jays, ranked 11th nationally by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, might be able to overcome the road blues. They have a talented team guided by Smith (133-29-9 record), who has taken Hopkins to the NCAA tournament five of the past seven years.

The Blue Jays have outscored opponents 53-9, thanks to the offensive exploits of three seniors, Matthew Doran (14 goals, 12 assists), Ryan Kitzen (7, 1) and Aerik Williams (4, 7), and sophomore Chad Tarabolous (8, 4).

"It's so tough to make it through the Division III tournament, because there are about 350 teams, which is 133 more than Division I," Smith said.

With wins against Franklin & Marshall and Gettysburg, the Jays will win their conference and join 35 other conference winners and four at-large teams in the tournament.

Salisbury drops to No. 3

Many field hockey teams would love to be ranked third in the country in Division III, but Salisbury University's team is not one of them.

The Sea Gulls(13-2) got used to being No. 1 over the last five weeks and were a bit shaken by their fall from that pedestal this week after losing a 2-1 decision to the new No. 1 team, the College of New Jersey, on Saturday.

"We just didn't generate much offense until the final 10 minutes of the game," said longtime coach Dawn Chamberlain, who recently recorded her 200th victory. "We got three shots and made one of them down the stretch. But it was too little too late."

Salisbury is led by Jill Cresser (19 goals, two assists), Marie Brewington (15, 7) and Kristen Seaton (10, 7).

Precocious UMBC scorers

UMBC men's soccer forward Derek McElligott (12 games, 12 goals) has more goals than any other Division I freshman. He is tied for seventh nationally in goals per game (1.0) and tied for 15th in points per game (2.2). The 8-3-1 Retrievers have won 29 of their past 32 home games.

UMBC women's soccer freshman Missy Moore has 11 goals in 13 games, tying her for 10th in the nation.

Culpepper on move

Morgan State running back Ali Culpepper has seven touchdowns this season, giving him 22 for his career - one short of John Sykes (1969-1971). The former Dunbar standout also has closed in on the Morgan career rushing record of 2,548 yards, held by Bobby Hammonds (1971-74).

Culpepper has 2,187 yards, 362 short of Hammonds with five games to play. Sykes is second to Hammonds in career rushing with 2,539.

Et cetera

Erin Sturgis of the College of Notre Dame of Maryland soccer team broke the school record for assists in a season this week with her 17th. The previous record of 15 was set in 1992 by Carrie Stallings. Sturgis, a second-year captain, also has seven goals.

Morgan State middle blocker Destiny Sisk had 11 blocks, 22 digs and 25 kills in wins last week over Delaware State and Hampton, earning her the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference volleyball Player of the Week honors. Sisk leads the 8-10 Bears in kills with 169 and hitting percentage with a 26.2 mark.

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