The impending arrival of Hurricane Isabel has forced local colleges and universities to cancel, postpone or shift a number of athletic events scheduled for today, tomorrow and into the weekend.
Among the casualties of the storm were the No. 1-ranked University of Maryland men's soccer game at Virginia Commonwealth tonight and Salisbury University's football game Saturday against Methodist.
Maryland coach Sasho Cirovski said discussions were held about moving the game up a day but "they [Virginia Commonwealth] play at a stadium that is not owned by the university, and it wasn't available. The storm is supposed to be hitting Richmond right about game time [tonight], so the decision was made in the best interests of all the students involved."
Since the teams could not find a mutual future date on which to play, an "important regional game" will be canceled, Cirovski said. "We would have liked to have played a midweek game going into our weekend game [against Duke], but it wasn't possible."
Salisbury will not reschedule its football meeting with Methodist College, which is in Fayetteville, N.C.
"Certainly, it's disappointing for our players and staff not to be able to play this game," said Sea Gulls coach Sherman Wood. "However, we do not control the weather, and I respect the decision Methodist had to make. They are looking to protect their players and staff."
In Maryland, the Eastern Shore schools have been the most affected.
Salisbury also was scheduled for a men's soccer game in Winchester, Va., that has been postponed, and the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore, which will have no classes today or tomorrow, called off all events through the weekend.
UMES and Coppin State were both in a bowling tournament in Hampton, Va., this weekend that has been scrapped.
Johns Hopkins switched a women's soccer match from last night to yesterday afternoon, and Loyola's men's soccer game at Princeton tomorrow night has been switched to turf.
The Morgan State Invitational Volleyball Tournament scheduled for tomorrow and Saturday has been canceled. Participants were to include Bucknell, Stony Brook, UNC-Asheville and Youngstown State.
Other schools were considering postponements but awaiting weather developments.