Double the travel, wins for Navy water polo team

state college notebook

October 09, 2008|By Patrick Gutierrez | Patrick Gutierrez,patrick.gutierrez@baltsun.com

The Navy men's water polo team recently went through what the players refer to as "The Iron Triangle," a doubleheader and road trip all rolled into one.

The trip, which Navy has been taking since 2001, started with the Midshipmen leaving their campus at 2:45 p.m. for a 5 p.m. game at Johns Hopkins. After coming from behind to defeat the Blue Jays 15-12, the team boarded its bus about 6:30 p.m. and headed to D.C., to take on George Washington.

Traffic delays caused the Mids to arrive at GW less than 30 minutes before the match's scheduled 8 p.m. start time, so they had an abbreviated warm-up before defeating the Colonials, 18-12, to improve to 12-7 overall and 5-1 in the College Water Polo Association.

The team, which ate sandwiches on the bus between games, started sluggish in both contests before turning it on in the second half to pull out the victories and keep its "Triangle" record unblemished. After another stop for dinner, the team returned home at 11:30 p.m.

"It could've been worse," said coach Mike Schofield. "We're happy to get out of each place with a win."

Tigers streak in pool

The Towson women's swimming and diving team puts its 10-match dual-meet winning streak on the line Saturday against William and Mary at Burdick Pool.

The meet is the conference opener for the defending Colonial Athletic Association champion Tigers and is expected to be an early test for a confident team that has designs on a perfect season.

"They've set some goals to have an undefeated dual-meet season," said coach Pat Mead, whose team suffered only one loss in 2007 while setting 10 school records. "This weekend will be a very good indication of where we're going to be."

With a roster that graduated only one swimmer and added an impressive group of freshmen, Mead said lofty goals were fine but it was important not to lose sight of the task at hand.

"They [the Tribe] were second in the conference last year and the year before that they had won," he said. "They are very much gunning for us."

Sea Gulls move on

The Salisbury football team, still dealing with the suspension of five defensive players stemming from a fight outside a nightclub over the weekend, had a spirited practice yesterday as several younger players saw the incident as their opportunity to step up.

"I thought the energy on the practice field was very good," said coach Sherman Wood. "I think there's some excitement from some kids who now will be provided an opportunity to play more."

Freshman linebacker Matt Leon will make his first collegiate start when the Sea Gulls (4-1) travel to Rochester, N.Y., to take on St. John Fisher College. Sophomore Blake Lovelace is also expected to get more playing time at cornerback.

Wood said the team's early success this season was a motivating factor in keeping the players focused on football and not letting the issue become a distraction.

"They understand that several of their teammates made a mistake but that we have a lot to play for and we need to move forward."

Century mark again

Johns Hopkins running back Andrew Kase has cracked the century mark in three consecutive games after rushing for 128 yards in last week's loss at Muhlenberg.

The junior has 11 100-yard games in his career, good for second place all-time at Hopkins behind Don Zajick's 13. The six he had last season tied the single-season record held by Oscar-Garcia Rivera that had stood alone for 58 years.

Kase credits his offensive linemen for his success, saying the continuity he's had with them over the past two seasons - the Blue Jays returned all five starters from 2007 - has made it easier for him to find the running lanes.

"The offensive line is making it pretty easy," said Kase, the Blue Jays' captain. "Often times I'm getting 4 or 5 yards before I'm even getting touched."

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