College lacrosse: Navy's Paul still has role to play

Injured attackman embraces role as mentor to younger players

February 25, 2010|By Edward Lee | Baltimore Sun reporter

Tim Paul's senior season has ended, but his contribution to the Navy men's lacrosse team has not.

The attackman tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the No. 11 Midshipmen's 8-7 overtime loss to No. 10 Loyola on Saturday. While the Parkton native, a Loyola Blakefield graduate, won't be a physical presence on the field, Paul has vowed to provide mental support for his teammates.

"I benefited learning from some great guys like Billy Looney, Tommy Wallin, Nick Mirabito," Paul said in a phone interview Wednesday. "I learned from some great guys, and even though I'm not out playing, I still have a job to teach the younger guys -- whether that's [sophomore] Ryan O'Leary or [sophomore] Taylor Reynolds or even a senior like Kyle Kapron, who's worked his butt off for four years. It's basically my job now to give them my eyes; it's my job now during games and during practice to let them know what I see and how I can help them and give them the best opportunity to be successful."

Paul, who is tentatively scheduled for surgery March 26 as doctors wait for the swelling around his knee to subside, said he was awakened Sunday by a call from Cmdr. Dave Keblish, the team doctor.

"I was expecting a torn meniscus because that was the diagnosis on the field," Paul recalled. "But ... he said, 'Tim, I'm really sorry to have to deliver this news to you, but you've torn your ACL, and we're probably going to do surgery in three or four weeks.' Needless to say, I had trouble going back to sleep after that."

Paul, the team's leading scorer last season despite sitting out two games with a severely sprained left ankle, was supposed to lead a Navy offense that returned all six starting attackmen and midfielders. But he insisted that his absence should not affect the team's firepower.

"We're not an offense that relies on one guy, and like I said before, it's my job to get these guys caught up," Paul said. "When we lost Bruce [Nechanicky, who tore the ACL in his left knee] during my freshman year, I went down to attack and it almost seemed pretty seamless. Whoever goes down there, I'm expecting a seamless transition."

Cohen to start for now

After No. 19 UMBC started senior Kevin Kohri and inserted freshman Adam Cohen after halftime in Saturday's triple-overtime loss to No. 18 Delaware, Retrievers coach Don Zimmerman announced Wednesday that Cohen would start in Saturday's game against Rutgers.

But Zimmerman declined to name Cohen, an Arnold native and Severn graduate, as the starter for the rest of the season, saying that Kohri and sophomores Brian McCullough and Matt Holman are very much in the mix for possibly starting in future contests.

"We're not going to do halves," Zimmerman said. "We're going to go with a one-goalie system for each game, and right now, Adam Cohen is our starter."

Sea Gulls stay positive

A 16-4 record, 15th consecutive Capital Athletic Conference tournament championship and a quarterfinal appearance in the NCAA Division III tournament would usually be deemed a success. But for No. 4 Salisbury (2-0), last season was bittersweet.

The four losses were the most in a season since the 2002 team went 13-5, and the Sea Gulls' 12-8 loss to Stevenson on April 4 last year ended the program's 105-game winning streak against CAC opponents. Yet the team's failure to reach the NCAA tournament semifinals for the first time since 2002 is being used as a positive.

"It's already provided good motivation," coach Jim Berkman said. "When we did our weight testing in the offseason, this is the strongest team we've ever had. That's a good sign of a lot of effort in that department. We feel very happy about how our preparation has gone in the offseason."

Et cetera

No. 5 Johns Hopkins defeated No.ƒ|18 Delaware, 15-7, on Tuesday without senior attackman Chris Boland, who led the team in scoring last season with 28 goals and 18ƒ|assists. He is not injured but has not played in either of Hopkins' games. Coach Dave Pietramala said there is no timetable for his return. "That's something that we've decided as a staff and worked out with Chris," Pietramala said. "When he steps on the field, that will be the first time. He's been dressed for every scrimmage and every game. He just has not stepped onto the field to play, and that's something we've discussed with Chris, and that's the way we'd like to leave it." ¡K No. 9 Georgetown is hoping that senior midfielder Andrew Brancaccio (concussion) and senior long-stick midfielder Barney Ehrmann (back) will play against No. 7 Maryland (1-0) in the Hoyas' season opener Saturday. "I think Brancaccio will be fine," coach Dave Urick said. "Ehrmann's going to be more of a question mark, I think."

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