Loyola game key for Towson if it wants to make tourney

Notebook

Seaman says games all are must-win for Tigers

Lacrosse

March 27, 2002|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

At this juncture, Towson men's lacrosse coach Tony Seaman isn't exactly sure who's in and who's out of the NCAA tournament.

But Seaman is pretty positive about one thing: If the Tigers want to make another run at the final four, they need to beat longtime rival Loyola on Saturday at Minnegan Stadium.

"I think they now are all must- win games for Towson University," said Seaman. "They [the team] know the scoop. We are not lying to them."

The six at-large bids for the NCAA tournament are all still largely up for grabs, but Syracuse (5-1) is a near lock, and Johns Hopkins (4-1) and Virginia (5-1), with two huge wins each, are in good shape.

That leaves three bids available for a group of teams that includes Towson (3-2), Loyola (6-0), Maryland (6-1), Duke (3-3), North Carolina (6-1), Hofstra (5-3) and the runner-up in the Eastern College Athletic Conference, likely either Georgetown (5-0) or Massachusetts (6-1).

"I'm not sure anybody with three losses is going to be in," Seaman said. "That's the way it is this year."

In losses to Virginia and Maryland, a team Seaman says just may be the best in the country, Towson was plagued by costly turnovers, magnified in the Tigers' transition-oriented offense.

But Seaman hopes the Tigers got the turnover bug out of their system in last week's 18-4 win over Delaware, in which Kyle Campbell scored six goals, and are ready for Loyola.

Just what doctor ordered

After being outscored 34-14 in consecutive losses to Cornell and Georgetown, UMBC was pretty desperate for Saturday's 9-8 comeback win over Penn State.

Leading the way for the Retrievers was junior goalie Tim Flanagan, who came to UMBC via Archbishop Curley and CCBC Essex.

Flanagan made 17 saves, motivated perhaps by coach Don Zimmerman's decision to open up competition for the starting goalie position during last week's practices.

Player of the week

John Christmas, Virginia. The high-scoring freshman gave Hopkins all it could handle and more, registering three goals and four assists in the Cavaliers' 12-6 win. The attackman out of Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pa., the same school that produced Kobe Bryant, had a hand in all six Virginia second-half goals.

Game of the week

No. 2 Virginia at No. 5 Maryland, Saturday, 1 p.m. The game within the game between two of the hottest teams in the country features a hot Virginia offense, averaging 13 goals a game, against Maryland's nation's-best defense that surrenders just six. Virginia is a near lock, while Maryland may need a win over the Cavaliers or Johns Hopkins on April 13 to punch its ticket to the NCAAs.

Ground balls

Syracuse midfielder Josh Coffman has been selected to the U.S. Men's Lacrosse Team, replacing Andy Ross, a pilot in the Navy who will be deployed to the Middle East at the beginning of the summer. ... Primarily known for Princeton's exploits, the Ivy League has five of its seven teams in the top 20. ... Loyola has held its opponents scoreless in a quarter seven times in six games this season. ... Channel 2 will broadcast North Carolina vs. Johns Hopkins at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, and Saturday's Loyola-Towson game at 1 p.m.

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