Coaches and players often talk about the importance of bouncing back quickly from a tough loss, but pardon the Towson State football team if it needed an extra day to recover from Saturday's 44-41 homecoming loss to Howard University on the game's final play.
This classic warrants a few more post-game tidbits:
It was the second-highest-scoring game in Towson State history and the school's highest-scoring home game.
How good was Howard quarterback Jay "Sky" Walker? Good enough to have two interceptions in his first three attempts and spot Towson State a 21-0 lead, then complete 38 of his next 49 passes (78 percent) against the Tigers' loose defense. Good enough to complete eight consecutive passes in the first half, then 10 straight in the second half. Good enough to take the Bison the final 67 yards in 59 seconds without a timeout.
Both offensive lines were outstanding -- particularly Towson State's, considering the defensive reputation of the 19th-ranked Bison. Howard was averaging six sacks, but never got to Dan Crowley. And the Tigers gave Tony Vinson enough openings to run for 224 yards. The Bison were giving up 92 yards rushing a game before coming to Minnegan Stadium.
In the end, Howard's defense delivered. The Bison had given up 21 second-half points in their first five games. Against the Tigers, Howard gave up 34 points in the first half and a touchdown on Towson State's opening drive of the third period. The Tigers did not scored again.
It was a costly loss for the Tigers. They missed a chance to break into the Division I-AA Top 25 for the first time, and running back Brian McCarty dislocated his shoulder on his first carry. He will be lost for at least two games.
Best in history
With a seven-game unbeaten streak, the University of Maryland's women's soccer team is having its best season. The Terrapins (11-2-1) have equaled their highest victory total and have their highest ranking, 14th.
Fifteen of Maryland's 21 players have scored. The Terps are led by sophomore forward Erin Taylor and junior forward Leslie Kerhin (Parkville High), each with five goals and three assists.
Maryland travels to No. 16 George Mason today at 3 p.m.
Milestone likely for O'Brien
Tonight at Towson State, UMBC senior outside hitter Kelly O'Brien figures to become the 18th player in NCAA history to reach 2,000 kills.
O'Brien (Wootton High), who took the school's all-time lead in kills as a sophomore, goes into the match with 1,991. She is enjoying her best season, leading the Big South with 4.15 kills per game, including a 4.48 average in conference matches.
A two-time All-East Coast Conference first-team selection and last year's Big South Player of the Year, O'Brien has been chosen conference Player of the Week twice this fall. She has recorded 30 kills in a match twice.
Speaking of volleyball, will Goucher College ever lose this season? In their sixth year in the NCAA's Division III, the Gophers are 34-0 and have moved into the No. 3 spot in the South Region rankings. In Goucher's best season, last year, it went 20-20.
The Gophers are the only unbeaten team in Division III and appear to be a lock to make the playoffs.
Montgomery moves up
Montgomery College, the state's only junior college football team, is having another fine season. With last week's 35-12 victory over Potomac State, the Knights are 6-0 and have moved up to 10th in the NJCAA rankings.
Running back Frank Brown, a freshman from North County High, has been the offensive catalyst. He has rushed 50 times for 488 yards and six touchdowns, both team highs. Brown also has caught a 69-yard touchdown pass, returned a punt 41 yards for another score and leads the Knights in scoring.
Towson State's men's soccer team lost last week at UMBC, 2-1, but it was still a good week for the Tigers. Against UMBC, they broke a 347-minute scoreless streak -- nearly four games. Then the Tigers edged UNC-Asheville, 1-0.
The Tigers, who start seven freshmen and sophomores, are 5-7.
Kathryn Steen, a freshman cross country runner at Essex Community College, has run two races.
Last week at the University of Maryland, she finished 67th in the state championships. Last weekend at the Salisbury State Invitational, she completed the 3.1-mile course in 22 minutes, 34 seconds to finish 27th.
Not impressed? Steen is 16, having skipped her last two years at Overlea High School.
Loss for Loyola
Loyola College's 22nd-ranked men's soccer team suffered a blow last week during its 3-2 victory over Howard, when sophomore forward Will Cirrincione went down with a broken left foot during the first half.
Cirrincione, the Greyhounds' third-leading scorer, will need surgery and will miss the remainder of the season.