Maryland men, women take ACC lacrosse shots

Both teams face Virginia in semis today at M&T

Navy hosts Patriot event

April 29, 2005|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

The Maryland men's lacrosse team will try to end any suspense regarding its NCAA tournament hopes when it faces Virginia tonight. North Carolina, a huge disappointment so far this spring, wants to prolong its desperate attempt to secure a postseason tournament bid by upsetting Duke, which sports the most prolific offense in the nation.

The women's team from Maryland thinks it can make a run at its sixth league-tournament title, but also will have to get past Virginia today to give itself a chance. The Terrapins probably would have to upend another high-scoring, top-seeded Duke team to complete its mission.

And all of it will play out at M&T Bank Stadium, where the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament is being staged for the first time and is the hub in a lacrosse-packed weekend.

Besides the ACC tournament, during which the men's and women's divisions will conduct their respective semifinal games during a long day of action today before concluding with championship games on Sunday, there are numerous other options for fans of the sport.

The festivities actually began last night at M&T and the Senator Theatre.

North Carolina routed Virginia Tech, 15-5, yesterday at M&T in the play-in game of the women's tournament to advance to today's semifinal game against top-seeded Duke. Boys' Latin beat St. Paul's, 13-10, in the first-ever high school game at the home of the Ravens.

Simultaneously, the documentary, Keeper of the Kohn, which chronicles Baltimore native Peter Kohn's last season as the equipment manager for the Middlebury College lacrosse team and his induction into the Lacrosse Hall of Fame, was shown to benefit the U.S. Lacrosse Youth Equipment Grant Program

Back on the field today, at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, fourth-ranked Navy will play host to the two-day, four-team Patriot League tournament for the second year in a row.

The Midshipmen, who, as the tournament's top-seeded team, are trying to solidify a possible top four seed in the 16-team NCAA tournament, will take on Lehigh today in the semifinals. Should the Mids advance, as expected, they would play the winner of today's Bucknell-Army semifinal in Sunday's title game.

Then there's the neighborhood battle tomorrow at Towson University, where the 12th-ranked Tigers will try to derail top-ranked Johns Hopkins, the only undefeated (10-0) team left in Division I.

"We're looking forward to coming up there [to M&T Bank Stadium] and trying to reach another one of our goals, and it should be a great atmosphere," said Duke men's coach Mike Pressler, whose Blue Devils have been great all spring and will take on fourth-seeded North Carolina.

Off to a 13-1 start and 3-0 in regular-season ACC play for the first time, top-seeded Duke, ranked No. 2 in the country, is the clear favorite and is coming off a recent, 17-2 rout of second-seeded, third-ranked Virginia.

The Blue Devils have the game's most dynamic freshman in attackman Zack Greer, who is second in the country with 43 goals. They have a strong Player of the Year candidate in sophomore Matt Danowski, who leads the nation with 63 points (34 goals, 29 assists). They lead the NCAA with 13.39 goals per game, have allowed just 6.3 goals per game, and their only defeat came in double overtime three weeks ago at Hopkins.

A year after missing the NCAA tournament with a 5-8 record, Duke is poised to eliminate a 5-7 North Carolina squad that was picked to win the ACC. The Tar Heels, who lost seven of their first nine games, must win the ACC tournament to make it to the national tournament. First, they must pull off a huge upset.

Maryland (6-5) is feeling better about its NCAA tournament chances after last week's 9-6 win at No. 17 Fairfield. Even if it loses to Virginia, Maryland could secure a winning record and an at-large bid to the NCAAs with a victory at unranked Penn (2-10) next week. A victory over Virginia tonight would make the Terps a lock, given their strength of schedule and their season-opening victory over No. 6 Georgetown.

Nearly four weeks ago, the Terps suffered a 10-2 rout at Virginia, which is led by All-America candidate Matt Ward on attack. The Cavaliers (9-2) have lost only to Hopkins and Duke.

"[Virginia] bullied us at the offensive end of the field. Their [defense] physically dominated our attack and midfield," Maryland coach Dave Cottle said. "The good news is we beat Fairfield. The bad news is we get to play Virginia."

Tournaments

ACC men, women

What: Atlantic Coast Conference men's and women's lacrosse tournaments

Where: M&T Bank Stadium

Tickets: Men's, women's tickets sold separately. Weekend pass $20, students $15; semifinal only $15, students $10; final only $10, students $7

Parking: $10 per vehicle

Women's schedule

Yesterday's first round

No. 4 seed North Carolina, 15, No. 4 Virginia Tech 5 Today's semifinals

No. 2 Virginia vs. No. 3 Maryland, 1 p.m.

No. 4 North Carolina vs. No. 1 Duke, 3:30 p.m. Sunday's final

Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.

Men's schedule

Tonight's semifinals

No. 1 Duke vs. No. 4 North Carolina, 6 p.m.

No. 2 Virginia vs. No. 3 Maryland, 8:30 p.m. Sunday's final

Semifinal winners, 3:30 p.m.

Patriot League men

What: Patriot League men's lacrosse tournament

Where: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium

Tickets: All-session ticket (both games) $7 for adults, $3 for students under 18; final ticket $10 for adults, $5 for students under 18. Students with IDs from participating schools will be admitted free. For groups of 10 or more, tickets will be available for $2 each with advance purchases.

Parking: Free

Schedule

Today's semifinals

No. 1 Navy vs. No. 4 Lehigh, 2 p.m.

No. 2 Army vs. No. 3 Bucknell, 45 minutes after conclusion of first game Sunday's final

Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.

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