One defeat burns more hotly in Johns Hopkins coach Tony Seaman's mind than any of the other four last year.
It was to Princeton, a 20-11 embarrassment in the season opener on Hopkins' Homewood Field. Two months later, in the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament, the Blue Jays lost to Princeton again when the Tigers' Scott Conklin scooped up a loose ball and found himself one-on-one with Johns Hopkins goalie Jonathan Marcus in overtime. Princeton 12, Hopkins 11. Princeton went on to win the NCAA title.
"But the one that sticks most in my mind was on March 5," Seaman said at a news conference featuring the state's college coaches yesterday. On Saturday, a day short of a year since that loss, Hopkins again will play Princeton at Homewood in its opener. In the rivalry with his old friend, Princeton coach Bill Tierney, Seaman is 1-4.
Man against boys?
Jake Bergey is only a sophomore, but Salisbury State coach Jim Berkman says that when the 6-foot-1, 195-pound attackman is on the field, "It's a man against boys." Maybe it's Bergey's bloodlines: His father, Bill, was a linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Recalling that young Bergey scored five goals in last year's Division III championship game victory over Hobart, Berkman said: "This is an athlete. Solid as a rock. He could become Salisbury State's best ever."
Cavs' Whitely injured
Junior Tim Whitely (St. Paul's), who led Virginia in points (71) and assists (47) last season, is questionable for Saturday's opener against Navy because of what was first diagnosed as a stress fracture in his foot.
"It's not that," said Virginia coach Dom Starsia. "We thought it was, after his foot turned up sore some time ago. He played in last week's scrimmage, but wasn't himself. Until we get the results of an MRI, he's uncertain."
Navy captain and attackman Rob Bailey is coming back from shoulder surgery performed last Thanksgiving after a series of dislocations dating to his plebe season.
"In a scrimmage against Hofstra last fall, Rob dove for the ball and three defensemen fell on top of him and it popped out again," Navy assistant Matt Hogan said. "That's when they decided to operate. He did 25 pullups recently for his Marine strength test, but he's only had a week of contact and his conditioning isn't great."
Bailey probably will be restricted to limited action against Virginia, just as he was in last week's opener against UMBC.
Women in Williamsburg
The Maryland, Loyola, UMBC and Towson State women will head south this weekend for the William and Mary Tournament in Williamsburg, Va.
The annual season kickoff event draws about 30 teams, including many of the nation's best. The U.S. elite team will be among those participating, along with a team from Scotland.
"It's just kind of a festival," said UMBC coach Kathy Zerrlaut. "It's a good learning experience, especially with a third of my team being freshmen. It really throws them in there without the pressure of a win/loss."
The tournament allows coaches to maximize the 17 play dates allowed in their schedule by facing five or six opponents in a
single day. Each contest will be a half-game scrimmage.
"For us, it's an opportunity to see some of the competition and see if our plays are going to work against anyone else," said Maryland coach Cindy Timchal, adding that the tournament offers the first full-field practice for many Ivy League and New England teams.
Loyola coach Diane Aikens said she goes to William and Mary every year to find a starting lineup.
"Eleven half-games prepares a lot more than one full game," said Aikens. "When you play a full game, you have a tendency not to mix it up as much. This gives you time in between games to sit down and put in whole new lineups or different people.
"You don't get a chance to do that when you play one full game, because it goes by so fast and, with a five-minute halftime, it doesn't give you a chance to revamp."
UMBC beefs up schedule
After last year's 7-7 record, UMBC men's coach Don Zimmerman added muscle to the schedule by replacing three of the teams the Retrievers beat with Navy, Rutgers and Notre Dame. Said the second-year coach: "One of my goals when I went to UMBC was to strengthen the schedule."
At Georgetown, coach Dave Urick said that last year's 10-2 record symbolizes "steady progress" during his five-year stewardship. Next goal: Reach the NCAA tournament.