Sudden sting of elimination fresh to St. Mary's women

'Hawks' lone loss blocks run to lacrosse final four


May 23, 2002|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Can you imagine the pain St. Mary's College women's lacrosse coach Robert Bray is feeling?

His team had put together a dreamlike, 19-0 season, was ranked fourth in the country, and needed only to beat Mary Washington at St. Mary's to earn the school's first-ever trip to the NCAA Division III final four.

It was the same Mary Washington team that the Seahawks had beaten twice during the regular season, each time by a goal.

So, naturally, everyone around St. Mary's was making serious final four plans.

But Mary Washington stunned the Seahawks, 9-7, 11 days ago, and Bray still sits at his desk in St. Mary's City and replays his only setback over and over again.

"We dropped the ball and took bad shots," he said. "But we have 16 of 19 players returning next year and should be real strong again."

One of the three players not returning is senior midfielder Kathy Holmes, who finished her career as the school's all-time assists leader (73) and all-time leader in ground balls (341).

Holmes and sophomore attacker Meg McFall were Division III first-team All-Americans, and sophomore goalie Jen Chumley was a second-team All-American.

Those three joined Sarah Sloane and Mia Oliver on the All-South Atlantic Region squad.

Holmes (27 goals, 26 assists) was also the Capital Athletic Conference Player of the Year.

Crawford on loose

Coppin State junior sprinter Ebony Crawford is receiving congratulations these days for her sixth-place finish in the 200 meters (24.61 seconds) on Sunday in the Eastern College Athletic Conference championships at Princeton University in New Jersey.

It has been a major breakthrough season for Crawford, who didn't reach a conference final in her first two years. She reached Sunday's final by placing sixth among the qualifiers.

Why the dramatic turnaround this spring?

"I think it's Mr. Bailey's training schedule," said Crawford, referring to Coppin's first-year women's coach, Patrick Bailey. "We run six days a week and he has me running the 400 meters to strengthen myself for the 200. It took me a while to get used to this heavier training."

Morgan among MEAC best

Despite Morgan State's many woes in football and basketball, the Bears finished third in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in competition for the best overall athletic program.

Morgan had 56 points to finish behind first-place Hampton (74.5) and second-place Florida A&M (70).

TV watch

The Naval Academy baseball team will gather at the Radisson Hotel in Annapolis on Monday to watch the NCAA tournament pairings show on ESPN2 at 12.30 p.m.

Despite a 22-23 record, the Mids clinched a berth in the NCAA tournament by winning the Patriot League tournament in mid-May.

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