Towson Men Are Looking Ahead

After Clinching Berth In Caa Tournament, Tigers Want To Win It, Earn Spot In Ncaas

College Lacrosse Notebook

April 22, 2009|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,edward.lee@baltsun.com

Last year, Towson failed to qualify for the Colonial Athletic Association lacrosse tournament for the first time. The Tigers ensured there would be no repeat by beating Delaware, 10-8, on Saturday and clinching a berth in the four-team tournament.

"It was a disappointment last year," junior midfielder Will Harrington said. "It was definitely a goal of ours to get to the tournament, but we want to win it and get into the NCAA tournament."

Towson (6-7, 4-2 CAA), which hosts No. 8 Johns Hopkins (6-4) at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, won't know its opponent in the tournament semifinals until Saturday night after Villanova plays at No. 9 Hofstra (9-2, 5-0). If the Wildcats (9-4, 3-2) lose, the Tigers would be the No. 2 seed and host Villanova next Wednesday. If the Wildcats win, Towson would slip to the No. 3 seed and travel to Villanova.

In their only meeting this season, the Wildcats defeated the Tigers, 13-4, on April 8.

Saturday's victory was especially meaningful for the Tigers, who squandered a three-goal lead with less than nine minutes left in an 11-10 loss to the Pride on April 11.

"The kids played real well at Delaware," coach Tony Seaman said. "We responded well, and now we just have to wait and see what happens."

Big Red steps up

Injuries have hampered Cornell, but that didn't stop the No. 4 Big Red (9-2) from upending then-No. 1 Princeton on Saturday and gaining control in the race for the Ivy League championship and a coveted automatic berth in the NCAA tournament.

Starting defensemen Nick Gradinger and Max Dorne were ruled out in the preseason because of back injuries, starting goalkeeper Jake Myers returned about a month ago after undergoing groin surgery, and starting midfielder and faceoff specialist John Glynn has been playing despite a fractured left elbow.

"We have had some unfortunate situations due to injury this year," coach Jeff Tambroni said. "Thankfully, guys have stepped up at the appropriate times."

A key win for Gulls

No. 5 Salisbury (14-3) earned its 21st consecutive NCAA Division III tournament berth by routing then-No. 1 Stevenson, 13-5, and capturing its 15th straight Capital Athletic Conference tournament crown Sunday.

But Sea Gulls coach Jim Berkman acknowledged that had the team lost to the Mustangs in the tournament final, Salisbury - which has collected eight national championships, including the past two - might have been shut out of the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1988.

"If we would have lost [Sunday], we would have had four losses," Berkman said. "I think it's going to be hard for any team this year - with only five at-large bids - to get into the tournament with four losses."

Et cetera

Mount St. Mary's will play its first night game at Waldron Family Stadium when Johns Hopkins visits the Mountaineers at 7:30 Monday. Blue Jays coach Dave Pietramala "has always been a first-class guy, both as a player and D-1 coach, and I appreciate his willingness to move the game from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.," coach Tom Gravante said. ... UMBC will clinch home-field advantage in the America East Tournament with a win Saturday over Vermont.

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