UMBC-Maryland game to go on as planned despite winter storm forecast

Winter storm forces Washington College-St. Mary's to be played a day earlier

March 04, 2013|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

The annual game between UMBC and Maryland will go as planned despite models calling for the possibility of more than five inches of snow for the Baltimore-Washington area.

The Retrievers are scheduled to travel to College Park and face the top-ranked Terps on Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Byrd Stadium.

“Our plan is to play as scheduled,” a Maryland spokesman said in a text message Monday afternoon. “Our facilities and grounds staffs are monitoring the situation and are preparing to play as scheduled.”

The winter storm projected to strike as early as Tuesday night has already changed another game involving state rivals.

The meeting between Washington College and St. Mary’s set for Wednesday afternoon has been moved up to Tuesday at 3 p.m. Coach Chris Hasbrouck, whose Seahawks are the hosts, said he and Shoremen coach Jeff Shirk emailed each other after their games on Saturday to discuss the possibility of moving the contest.

“So we kind of knew,” Hasbrouck said Monday afternoon. “But with the short week, we’re both dealing with the same things. You go out there today, it’s a beautiful day today, and you go out there and prepare. We’ll hit the ground tomorrow, and I fully believe that it’s the team that makes the fewest mistakes and who can finish their opportunities will win the game.”

Both teams will have one fewer day to prepare for their opponent, but Shirk said the risk of trying to navigate snow and ice will be taken out of the equation.

“Our first concern was travel with the possibility of snow and possibly bad ice conditions,” he said. “So we didn’t want to travel in that weather. But also with them having a grass field, I think it makes for a cleaner game than the mudbath it could be on Wednesday.”

Both Hasbrouck and Shirk agreed, however, that they didn’t want to cancel the game entirely.

“There was no doubt,” Hasbrouck said. “We were both in full agreement that if it was at all possible, this game was going to be played. I think it’s a great natural rivalry. The schools are similar. We’ve been trying to get this on the schedule for the last couple years. We’re looking forward to developing a great rivalry with them.”

Added Shirk: “It’s really important. They’ve had a very good year except for that one little hiccup against Dickinson. They’ve broken into the top 20 and being in-state schools, it’s a big deal that we get this game in.”

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