There has been no contact this week between friends Dick Edell and Carl Runk, lacrosse coaches for Maryland and Towson State, respectively. No trading of jokes. No quick one-liners. Nothing.
It's time for the annual Maryland and Towson State game Saturday (1 p.m.) at Minnegan Stadium.
"After our thoroughly disappointing loss to Duke last week [9-5], I can't worry about personalities this week," said Edell, a Towson alumnus and former assistant under Runk at Towson in the late 1960s. "I'll look forward to talking to Carl when the game is over."
The season is less than a month old but the Terps (0-1) need a victory, and soon. After Towson, Maryland must play Cornell, North Carolina, Virginia and Navy before finally getting a breather against Virginia Military Institute May 1. Towson opened its season last Saturday with a 20-6 win over Villanova.
"We've got to shut down their offensive capabilities," said Edell. "Any time you score 20 goals, well . . . It's important we gain some confidence."
Maryland leads the series 10-3 but the Tigers have won three of the last four, including a 13-9 victory last year in College Park.
"It's always a knock-down, drag-them-out kind of affair," said Edell.
Runk, who will be going for his 225th coaching victory Saturday, said: "It's always been a tough game for us, and this will give us an opportunity to see how far we have to go."
Cavaliers face rough road
Virginia's lacrosse team is the quiet storm of the season.
The Cavaliers (2-0) are good, but in the next two weeks, the lacrosse world will find out if they are of national championship caliber as Virginia plays Duke, Princeton, Massachusetts and Johns Hopkins.
"That stretch is going to test our mettle and depth," said Dom Starsia, Virginia's first-year coach. "We put our best foot forward against Navy [a 9-7 win] last week, but now we'll get to see how we rebound against tough teams in the same week."
During the last decade Virginia, which has 21 Maryland players on its roster, was believed to be the most talented team in the country, but the Cavaliers never came close to meeting their potential.
Starsia, who replaced longtime coach Jim "Ace" Adams, wants to change that.
"The team is playing well, but they have a reputation for not playing well when something happens," said Loyola coach Dave Cottle. "It could happen again, but Dom is working hard to change the attitude. I think he'll do a fine job."
Could Towson State sophomore midfielder Tim Lucky be another Rob Shek? Shek came out of Bel Air High relatively unnoticed, then led the Tigers to the final against the University of North Carolina in 1991, when he was top mid in the country. Lucky also comes from Harford County, and was unknown coming out of North Harford High. In a 20-6 rout of Villanova last week, he won 11 of 12 faceoffs, picked up eight ground balls and had two goals on five shots.
"He had a good freshman year, but in practice last fall he wasn't overwhelming," Runk said. "He since has improved on his own, because of his own dedication. His basic skills still aren't there yet, but he's imposing physically and benches over 330 pounds. He's progressing, and not just on faceoffs. We're not afraid to take a chance with him."
Loyola aims at No. 1
The big game in-state Saturday is Maryland at Towson State, but the top game nationally has co-No. 3 Loyola at No. 1 North Carolina. The Tar Heels (3-0) moved into the top spot by beating Syracuse, 14-10, and Cottle knows it will be a step up from Penn.
"North Carolina is probably the strongest defensive team in the nation," Cottle said. "If they get 14 goals again, we won't win the game."
The Tar Heels defense includes Alex Martin, a senior from Gilman, and Chuck Breschi, a junior from Loyola High. John Webster, a senior out of Boys' Latin normally seen on attack, has been running at midfield with Ryan and Jason Wade, who prepped at Severn.
Cottle enjoyed having Kevin Anderson around for all of preseason preparation. Anderson played four years of basketball for the Greyhounds, and was never available until mid-March. Anderson is running midfield, but he was in goal two years ago, when Loyola gave North Carolina its toughest postseason test in the Tar Heels' run to the NCAA title.
Around the crease
Navy (1-1) will be without three starters for Saturday's game at Penn. Sophomore midfielder Eric Kapitulek sprained an ankle last Saturday in the Middies' 9-7 loss to Virginia. Navy junior starting defenseman Kevin Boardman (sprained ankle) and junior faceoff specialist Len Milliken (knee) will miss their second straight game. . . . Syracuse's 14-10 loss to North Carolina Saturday was the Orangemen's seventh season-opener loss in the 23 years Roy Simmons Jr. has coached at the school. Syracuse has lost two openers in the last five years. . . Date to remember: March 20, Syracuse at Loyola. . . . UMBC plays host to Radford today and Washington College travels to Johns Hopkins.