It has come down to a two-game season for the men's soccer team at Loyola College. If the Greyhounds intend to qualify for next month's NCAA tournament for the first time since 1987, they must beat 16th-ranked William & Mary on Saturday at Curley Field. Then, they must beat Maryland, also at home, on Monday.
Loyola, ranked No. 22, is 15-2 and has won its fifth straight Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship. Yet the Greyhounds' supremacy in the MAAC does not guarantee them a place in the national tournament. Of the 32 schools that will be invited, 16 conference champions will receive automatic bids. The weak MAAC is not included in that group.
The Greyhounds are aiming for one of the 16 remaining at-large bids. At least one team from each region in the country is guaranteed a bid. Loyola is ranked fourth in the South Atlantic Region, one spot behind William & Mary. The Greyhounds have beaten two nationally ranked teams -- San Francisco and Fresno State -- so a strong finish should clinch a tournament invitation.
Howard alums kick up storm
Speaking of soccer, Howard County has long been considered one of the nation's top high school areas. This fall, several former Howard County standouts are having a major impact at their colleges.
At Rutgers, sophomores Hamisi Amani-Dove (Wilde Lake) and Kori Hunter (Atholton) are two reasons the Scarlet Knights are TTC ranked seventh with a 13-2-1 record and have clinched the top seed in next week's Atlantic-10 tournament.
Despite missing four games with a sprained ankle, Amani-Dove leads Rutgers in scoring with nine goals and seven assists. Hunter has played all but eight minutes of the season in goal, where he has recorded eight shutouts, including three against Top 10 teams.
Former Hammond standout goalkeeper Brian Bailey, a junior at James Madison, has been sensational for the fourth-ranked Dukes, who have clinched the Colonial Athletic Association title with a 15-0-1 record. Bailey has six shutouts in nine starts for the Dukes and has given up only four goals for a 0.41 goals-against average, tops in the nation. Loyola's Zach Thornton, a John Carroll graduate, is second in the country with a 0.44 average.
Another Hammond alum, freshman Samantha Andersch, is making her presence felt on the James Madison women's team. Sunday, she scored her first goal and tied the school record with three assists in the Dukes' 6-2 victory over American.
Suber steps up for Deacons
Terrence Suber, who graduated from City after becoming The Baltimore Sun's All-Metro Offensive Player of the Year last fall, is making waves in the defensive backfield at Wake Forest.
Suber, who started the season as the Demon Deacons' backup free safety, began to get more playing time a month ago, after senior Kevin Cole suffered a foot injury. In the past four games, Suber has made 15 tackles, including 11 solos.
Suber is one of only three true freshmen playing for the Demon Deacons.
Hopkins basketball: No. 6
The men's basketball team at Johns Hopkins has received some prominent preseason ink.
The Blue Jays, who return four starters from last year's 19-7 team that went undefeated in the Middle Atlantic Conference, have been ranked sixth in the Division III men's coaches poll.
Senior 6-foot-3 guard/forward Luke Busby and senior 6-4 center/forward Frank Grzywacz are the top Blue Jays to watch. Busby averaged 16.1 points and five rebounds and was the conference Most Valuable Player. Grzywacz averaged 12.3 points and 7.7 rebounds and shot 57.7 percent from the field.
It was another record-setting weekend in college football.
The day after Johns Hopkins running back Chuck Wotkowicz rushed 45 times for a school-record 345 yards in a 19-17 victory over Georgetown, another Hopkins record fell.
Matt Newton, a senior wide receiver from Principia College in Elsah, Ill., caught 13 passes against Earlham College of Richmond, Ind., to set the national Division III record for career receptions with 251. That broke a 12-year-old record that was owned by Bill Stromberg. He caught every one of those passes from Jim Margraff, the Blue Jays' coach.
And Towson State defensive end Rob Stanavitch did his part to help the Tigers blow out Buffalo, 38-14. He set a school record with six sacks, and was named Division I-AA Defensive Player of the Week in the Eastern College Athletic Conference budget division.
Navy running wild
The cross country teams at Navy have enjoyed fine seasons.
The men's team lost its first meet in two years last week, suffering its first defeat against Army (24-35) in six seasons. Jeff Leuenberger and Bruce Frame finished second and third. The Mids head into this Friday's Heptagonals at Van Cortlandt Park in New York with an 11-1 record.
The women's team improved to 10-1 by crushing Army, 20-43, as the Mids took places two through 10. Aletha Williams, Kerri Gray and Kim McGreevy took second, third and fourth.
Division III's Heisman
Division I football has the Heisman Trophy. Division II has the Hill. This year, Division III college football will be recognized with the Melberger Award. The award, to be presented by the Downtown Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) Touchdown Club on Dec. 18, will honor the country's outstanding Division III player.
The award is named after Clifford Melberger, the captain of the 1960 Bucknell Lambert Cup team.