CAC rivalry? That depends

Coach for Stevenson men believes so

Salisbury coach says give it some time

College Lacrosse Notebook

April 02, 2009|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,

Stevenson men's lacrosse coach Paul Cantabene thinks his team's Capital Athletic Conference series with Salisbury is becoming a rivalry. Sea Gulls coach Jim Berkman doesn't quite feel the same way.

"With the intensity of the last couple of games that we've played with them, I would say that it's one of the biggest rivalries out there," Cantabene said. "I don't think they like a new person in their conference. This has been their conference for years, and they've won it. I don't think they like getting someone new in there and trying to take their role. We kind of want to take what they have, and that's our goal."

Countered Berkman: "They've only been in our conference for three years. I don't know what else you want me to tell you. Obviously, they're a very, very good team, and they have a lot of talented kids, and they've had a lot of success to date."

What can't be debated is the significance of Saturday's game. The No. 1 Mustangs (10-0, 4-0) will visit the No. 4 Sea Gulls (11-1, 5-0) at 7 p.m. Both teams are undefeated in league play, and the winner Saturday will sit in the driver's seat for home-field advantage in the season-ending conference tournament.

The Sea Gulls aren't the top-ranked team in NCAA Division III for the first time in 30 weeks after suffering an 11-10 loss to No. 9 Gettysburg on Saturday, and Berkman didn't disguise his team's desire to regain the No. 1 spot.

"I think everybody in lacrosse cares that they're No. 1," he said. "I think if they say they're not, they're pulling wool over your eyes. It's a lot of prestige for your program, and it gives the kids a sense of confidence and a sense of pride. I think anybody would be lying to you if they told you that they didn't want to be No. 1."

Salisbury might not be No. 1, but it is still an eight-time national champion, and Saturday's game is at Sea Gull Stadium. But Cantabene said his players are eager for the challenge.

"We're not going to be intimidated by them," he said. "I don't think either team is intimidated by the other. I think we'll be just fine. I don't think a mental edge is going to have anything to do with this game. Our guys have played in a lot of tough venues, and I think we'll be just fine."

Praise for Cavs goalie

Virginia coach Dom Starsia called Adam Ghitelman's performance against Maryland on Saturday "a coming-out party." The sophomore goalkeeper didn't disagree.

Ghitelman recorded a career-high 22 saves in the No. 1 Cavaliers' 10-9 victory over the No. 9 Terps in seven overtimes, and six of those stops came in overtime. The 22 saves were the most by a Virginia goalie in five years.

"That might have been one of my best games in my career," said Ghitelman, who was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Week. "I've done well this season against some of the mid-major teams, but I've been waiting to have a game like that against a top-10 team like Maryland, and it happened that I was able to play well."

Glad to be back

A torn anterior cruciate ligament sidelined Eddie Graham for the entire 2008 season, but the fifth-year senior defenseman has returned to start all nine of No. 19 Loyola's games this season.

"Not being around the guys was frustrating," he said. "I would be doing rehab while the other guys were out practicing. Once you're not there and then you come back, you realize what you were missing, and you really appreciate it that much more."

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