The Week Ahead

Destination College Lacrosse

March 29, 2006|By GARY LAMBRECHT

No. 3 MARYLAND (6-1)

Schedule -- vs. No. 1 Virginia, Saturday, 1 p.m.

Skinny -- The Terps are one of the few teams that can match up athletically with the top-scoring team in the NCAA, and Maryland must use its depth on defense to its advantage. Junior Terps goalie Harry Alford may be playing the most consistent lacrosse of his career. He should get plenty of save opportunities from an array of good Virginia shooters. Maryland probably needs to avoid a shootout, although senior attackman Joe Walters finally is rolling with 12 points in his past two games.

No. 6 NAVY (7-1)

Schedule -- vs. No. 5 Georgetown, Saturday, noon

Skinny -- The Midshipmen have frustrated their coaching staff with stretches of poor shooting and overall lackadaisical play. Navy needs to be on its most attentive behavior against the physical, defensive-minded Hoyas, who have won three of the past four meetings and nine of the past 12 between the schools. The Mids appear to have a decisive faceoff advantage with midfielder William Wallace. If the offense can control possession time and manufacture eight goals or more, Navy should be in good shape. The Mids' defense has been solid all year.

No. 9 JOHNS HOPKINS (3-3)

Schedule -- vs. North Carolina, Saturday, 1 p.m.

Skinny -- Youth, inexperience and key injuries have caught up early with the Blue Jays, who are short on depth and playing .500 ball after six games for the first time under sixth-year coach Dave Pietramala. The offense, which has averaged 12 goals in three wins and just 5.3 goals in three defeats, clearly misses sophomore midfielder Stephen Peyser, who has been out all season with a broken jaw but could be cleared to practice soon. Hopkins should get better against a 2-7 Carolina team that is 7-15 dating to the start of last season.

No. 13 TOWSON (4-3)

Schedule -- at No. 4 Hofstra, Friday, 7:30 p.m.; at No. 17 UMBC, next Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.

Skinny -- The Tigers bounced back nicely from a blowout loss to Virginia by going 2-0 last week. Towson played its most complete game of the season by beating Delaware on Saturday, and the Tigers must improve on that with a tough assignment on Long Island. Hofstra, the class of the Colonial Athletic Association, is a loaded, senior-laden squad that has whipped Hopkins and Princeton, and the Pride is always tough at home. For starters, the Tigers could use another great game from sophomore attackman Kyle Batton, who has replaced the injured Steve Mull.

No. 17 UMBC (3-3)

Schedule -- vs. No. 11 Albany, Sunday, 1 p.m.; vs. No. 13 Towson, next Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.

Skinny -- Finally, the attack woke up for the Retrievers, who got 16 points from the unit in Saturday's win over Denver. UMBC could set the tone for a playoff run this week. Albany, led by junior attackman Frank Resetarits (21 goals, nine assists), is 2-3 on the road and is coming off a loss at Dartmouth. Next Wednesday's game against Towson could end up being important in the eyes of the NCAA tournament selection committee. UMBC freshman goalie Jeremy Blevins (Calvert Hall) continues to be a bright spot.

No. 19 LOYOLA (3-3)

Schedule -- at No. 15 Syracuse, Saturday, 4 p.m.

Skinny -- If the Greyhounds are going to make a move toward their first NCAA tournament berth since 2001, they had better start now, under tough circumstances. Syracuse is a desperate, banged-up group, Loyola is playing its fourth straight game on the road, and the Greyhounds have just lost junior attackman and leading scorer Patrick Kennedy for the season to a knee injury. The defense that fell apart in the second half of Saturday's 14-9 loss at UMass must regroup today behind senior goalie Michael Fretwell.

MOUNT ST. MARY'S (2-6)

Schedule -- Next game April 8 at Marist, 1 p.m.

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