Midshipmen's Berth In Ncaas Is Secure

Terps Are On Bubble

College Lacrosse Notebook

April 29, 2009|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,edward.lee@baltsun.com

On the road to the NCAA men's lacrosse tournament, Navy and Maryland seem to be going in opposite directions.

The No. 12 Midshipmen became the first team to secure a tournament berth by edging No. 14 Bucknell, 9-8, in the Patriot League final Sunday. By capturing the automatic qualifier, the team avoided having to sweat out Selection Sunday, four days away.

"We went through that last year, and that's not something we were anxious to repeat," said coach Richie Meade, whose squad was expected to be on the bubble had Navy (11-4) fallen short of its fifth Patriot League tournament crown in six years.

The No. 13 Terps (8-6), who began the season with flashes of promise and a 6-2 record, have dropped four of their past six. But Maryland has beaten Duke and North Carolina, schools ranked in the top 10 in Rating Percentage Index.

"When you look at the resume of wins over teams in the tournament, we've got two good ones," Terps coach Dave Cottle said. "We've probably got better wins than some of the other teams out there."

CBS College Sports analyst Paul Carcaterra, a former Syracuse All-America midfielder, said he thinks Maryland will be one of the last teams to get an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.

"They have just two top-10 wins on the season," Carcaterra said. "With that said, if they get into the tournament and they turn some things around, I think they could be a scary team. They have the talent."

Goucher confident

Goucher accomplished its preseason objective of earning the No. 1 seed in the Landmark Conference tournament. The next step is capturing the championship that evaded the Gophers last season, when they lost to Drew in the final.

"We definitely wanted to make the tournament, we wanted to be the No. 1 seed, and now we want to win it," said coach Kyle Hannan, whose team will face No. 4 seed Scranton, the only league foe to beat Goucher, in a semifinal at 4 p.m. Wednesday. "I think we're playing well right now. This is our time, and I think the guys have some confidence going into the tournament."

A night to remember

A record announced crowd of 1,258 watched Mount St. Mary's drop a 12-5 decision Monday to No. 9 Johns Hopkins in the first night game at Waldron Family Stadium in Emmitsburg.

The boisterous atmosphere, which included fans standing in grassy areas behind each net, invigorated the Mountaineers and coach Tom Gravante.

"It was beautiful," he said. "I don't generally look into the crowd. But there were a couple times where I was able to pause just for a quick second, and it was a wonderful sight."

Et cetera

Towson, which plays host to Drexel on Wednesday night in a Colonial Athletic Association tournament semifinal, has advanced to four finals in its past five attempts. ... Maryland junior attackman Will Yeatman is expected to play Saturday against Yale despite a sprained right ankle. "I'd say he's 80, 85 percent right now," Cottle said. ... Meade is optimistic that junior attackman Tim Paul's sprained left ankle will be almost fully healed in time for the NCAA tournament. "He was running around a little bit," Meade said of Paul, who scored a goal against Bucknell in limited action. "We think in another two weeks, he should be close to 100 percent."

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