The Four Horsemen are galloping out of Notre Dame lore, this time with lacrosse sticks.
In the 1920s, the Four Horsemen were football celebrities. In 1992, the Four Horsemen are Brian Schirf, Doug Murray, Mike Sullivan and Chris Nelson, senior captains who will lead the Irish against Johns Hopkins here Sunday in the first round of the NCAA lacrosse tournament.
Before the season, the four were persuaded by Notre Dame's public relations folks to pose for a photo on horses on a farm near the campus. The pose is identical to the famous photo of the original Horsemen -- Elmer Layden, Harry Stuhldreher, Jim Crowley and Don Miller.
Neither Schirf nor Sullivan had been on a horse before, but they survived, and today the 5-foot-8 Sullivan is Notre Dame's all-time leading scorer with 185 points on 97 goals and 88 assists.
As recipient of the courtesy bid that goes to the Western representative in lacrosse's attempt to spread the game, the Irish are unlikely to offer more than token resistance against Hopkins. Lacrosse is a non-scholarship sport at Notre Dame.
It is fitting that the new Four Horsemen began, and will doubtless end, their college careers against Hopkins. Their first game, a losing exhibition in the fall of 1988, also was against Hopkins.
Salisbury State, which entertains Ithaca Sunday in a Division III first-round game, is 28-4 at Sea Gull Stadium in four years under coach Jim Berkman. The Sea Gulls are 22-2 at home in the last three years, losing only to Cortland State, 11-10, in 1990 and to Hobart, 12-11, in last year's championship game.
Navy is 6-0 against Ivy League
teams in NCAA tournament first-round games. Sunday, the Middies play host to Yale, making this their fourth straight tournament in which they've met an Ivy League team (Brown in 1987, Harvard in 1988 and Penn in 1989).
In second-round games each of those years, however, Navy was beaten by Syracuse by a combined score of 61-21. If the Mids get by Yale Sunday, they'll face, yep, Syracuse.
Loyola is one of only four teams that has been in the tournament five straight years, in company with Syracuse, North Carolina and Johns Hopkins.
Starting with a victory over Virginia in the regular-season finale in 1987, Loyola has won 31 of its last 34 games at Curley Field, where it will meet Brown Saturday.
The three losses were to North Carolina in 1989 and Duke and Brown last year.
Dan Reading, a Maryland junior midfielder, was named Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Week on the strength of three goals and four ground balls in Saturday's victory over UMBC.