Quick hook starts UM goal controversy

Men's notebook

April 12, 2006|By GARY LAMBRECHT | GARY LAMBRECHT,SUN REPORTER

The Maryland Terrapins have enough problems on offense. They are shooting barely 23 percent, have hit double digits in scoring twice in nine games and have managed 11 goals during their current two-game losing streak.

And as the No. 7 Terps prepare to meet No. 6 Johns Hopkins for the 102nd time Saturday, the anchor position of their reliable defense has been called into question.

Junior goalie Harry Alford, the preseason All-American who has started 26 consecutive games and ranked fifth among Division I goalies in save percentage last week, could be giving way to sophomore Jason Carter (St. Mary's) against the Blue Jays.

Midway through the first quarter of last week's 7-6 loss to visiting Navy, Maryland coach Dave Cottle pulled Alford after he committed two unforced turnovers. First, on an attempted clear, he overthrew a teammate badly. Then Alford raked a loose ball out of bounds from the crease area.

That was the last straw for Cottle. Carter abruptly entered the game and finished it by making seven saves, although he allowed Navy attackman Ian Dingman's point-blank game-winner with eight seconds left.

Suddenly, the Terps have a goalie controversy.

"We're trying to figure out who the best goalie is. The best goalie in practice this week will be the starter," Cottle said.

"At the time [of the switch], I made the decision that gave us the best chance [to win against Navy]," Cottle added. "Jason has played very well in practice. He played extremely well in the [preseason] scrimmages. I think the confidence in Jason has grown so much. I don't consider this a problem. I consider this an opportunity."

"I wasn't expecting [to be inserted] at all, especially that early in the game," said Carter. "I really don't have a clue [who will start against Hopkins]. Harry is our starting goalie. He's probably going to get the call. I'm just going to practice as hard as I can and see what happens."

Duke fallout

No. 3 Hofstra (9-1) has beaten Hopkins and Princeton handily while putting together a nine-game winning streak. The Pride has outscored its opponents 113-63 and has one of the game's top attack trios, junior Athan Iannucci (40 points), senior Chris Unterstein (39) and freshman Tom Dooley (29 points).

But for coach John Danowski, in his 21st year at Hofstra, this season has turned into a downer.

Danowski is the father of Duke junior attackman Matt Danowski, who is rated among the nation's premier players. And watching the developments at Duke - where a scandal involving an alleged rape of an exotic dancer at a lacrosse party led to the resignation of coach Mike Pressler and the cancellation of the rest of Duke's season - has taken the shine off the Pride's success.

"There hasn't been any joy in winning for me, personally," John Danowski said. "What's happened down there has made it really hard. It's sad, all the way around."

While the investigation into the incident continues, and current players and incoming recruits weigh the option to be released from their Duke commitments, Danowski said his son has no plans to transfer.

"[Matt] loves Duke. He loves his friends and his teammates and everything about going to school there," John Danowski said. "He wants to stay."

Peyser's progress

Johns Hopkins will decide shortly whether to request a redshirt season for sophomore midfielder Stephen Peyser, who has missed the season's first eight games with a broken jaw suffered in a preseason scrimmage against Georgetown.

Peyser, who scored 10 goals last year and is one of the team's more explosive dodgers, started eating solid food recently and has been doing light work with the team.

"It's a matter of can he do everything and get into full contact. We'll evaluate him this week in terms of what he's able to do," Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala said. "In the next week or so, if he's not able to contribute or compete, that's when we have to address it." gary.lambrecht@baltsun.com

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