UM, Salisbury take to road, open play in field hockey final fours tomorrow

State notebook


November 20, 2003|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Maryland and Salisbury University have spent most of the fall dominating field hockey opponents and have been rewarded with final four trips this weekend.

The third-seeded Terrapins (20-3) will be making their ninth national semifinal appearance at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, facing second-seeded Duke (19-3) at Garber Field at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Mass.

Top-seeded Wake Forest (20-1) will collide with unseeded Michigan (17-6) at 5 p.m. in tomorrow's first semifinal. The winners will meet at 12:30 p.m. Sunday for the national championship.

Maryland is a defensive-oriented team, with its leading scorer, freshman Paula Infante (19 goals, 7 assists), being a back and playing a key role in the team's 20 victories, 10 by shutout.

Infante, who has a team-leading 45 points, which is fourth in the Atlantic Coast Conference, has also registered five two-goal games. Junior forward Anja Boettcher is second in scoring (18 goals, 2 assists, 38 points) and sophomore forward Jackie Ciconte is a close third (17, 3, 37).

Sophomore goalkeeper Tori Cano has a 1.00 goals-against average, second in the ACC.

Salisbury has been something of a Division III field hockey dynasty over 20 seasons, going to 19 NCAA tournaments, seven final fours and winning a national title in 1986 with a 21-0 record.

The Sea Gulls (18-1), ranked second in the nation, travel to Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pa., tomorrow to meet third-ranked College of New Jersey (17-2) at 2 p.m. in the national semifinals.

No. 1-ranked Middlebury College (18-0) will take on sixth-ranked SUNY-Cortland (16-2) at 11 a.m. tomorrow, with the winners battling for the title at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Salisbury is led by senior All-America Lindsey Elliott, two-time Capital Athletic Conference Player of the Year.

Water Polo final four

Navy's water polo team (25-6) scored an exciting 8-6 victory over Princeton in the Collegiate Water Polo Association Eastern Championship match Sunday, earning the league's automatic bid to the NCAA final four.

"I've always dreamed of being in this position as a player here, and this is living out a dream," said Navy sophomore goalie Patrick McCreary. "This is simply amazing. I think we were better prepared than the other team, and that's why we won."

Retrievers lose tight one

The UMBC men's swimming team held a 117-109 lead over Navy entering the final event but was outscored 13-4 in the last relay by the Mids, who took the meet, 122-121, handing the Retrievers (3-1) their first loss of the season.

The UMBC men will be out to defend their title this weekend in the George Mason Invitational meet.

The UMBC women's swimming team is unbeaten at 4-0.

Hugus qualifies

McDaniel's Paul Hugus became the school's first men's cross country runner to qualify for the NCAA Division III championship meet since Greg Davis in 1994.

Hugus qualified last Saturday with a ninth-place finish in a regional meet, turning in a time of 26 minutes, 26 seconds.

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