Towson draws J. Madison

Terps to face Notre Dame

Loyola gets 1st-round bye, then UM-Irish winner

College Soccer

November 20, 2001|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Towson University will get an early taste of a future conference rival. The University of Maryland will enjoy the comforts of home. And Loyola College has the luxury of first watching.

The NCAA Division I men's soccer invitations -- expanded from 32 to 48 this year -- went out yesterday with interesting subplots for the three area teams that advanced.

Tournament newcomer Towson, which received an automatic bid after winning its first America East crown in its last try on Saturday, will face James Madison University in the first round at 6 p.m. Friday in Chapel Hill, N.C. The Dukes (12-5-1) won the Colonial Athletic Conference, where the Tigers (15-4-1) will be moving next year.

Maryland, which last season failed to qualify for the first time since 1994, returns for its 21st appearance to take on Notre Dame (12-6) at Ludwig Field at 7 p.m. Friday.

Making its first NCAA appearance since 1993, Loyola, winner of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and unbeaten in its past 18 games, will take on the Terps-Irish winner in a second-round match at 1 p.m. Sunday in College Park. The Greyhounds (16-1-2) haven't lost since a 4-0 setback to California in their season opener. A 1-0 win against Maryland (10-8-1) was in the Greyhounds' run.

"To go 18 games unbeaten in the regular season is unbelievable. It's been a really enjoyable season, and I'm pleased for our seniors because none of them have been to the tournament before. We just have a really good blend of personalities that have really come together well," said Loyola coach Mark Mettrick. "Notre Dame and Maryland are both very good teams, and whoever wins, I think it will be an exciting match on Sunday."

Loyola, the highest seed in the bracket, was unable to be host to the first two rounds, so the NCAA shifted the site to College Park.

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