There is a price for winning, and Salisbury State is paying for it.
The Sea Gulls, after years of serious contention, finally won the NCAA Division III lacrosse championship last year. But that just added to their frustration of trying to schedule opponents.
Some Division III teams won't schedule Salisbury because they fear being embarrassed like Hampden Sydney and Mary Washington this season, which lost 26-2 and 28-5 in the Sea Gulls' first two games.
A lot of Division I schools won't play the Sea Gulls, either.
"Even some of the stronger Division III schools don't want to play us, and that hurts when we have to play some of the best teams on the road later in the season," Salisbury coach Jim Berkman said.
"Think about it: Would you want to play us if you were Division I?" he said. "There is also a rule that requires Division I schools to play 10 Division I opponents, and most of them are only playing 11 games."
But what about Washington College, which plays Navy and Johns Hopkins, or Hobart, which played Virginia and Syracuse when it was a Division III power before joining Division I this season?
"In those situations, those games have great tradition," said Berkman. "Some have been played for 40 years and were made even before Tony Seaman became coach at Johns Hopkins. I'm sure Tony Seaman doesn't really want to play that game, but there are people behind him who want him to play the game."
Berkman doesn't anticipate the Sea Gulls moving to Division I in the near future.
Loyola coach Dave Cottle, a Salisbury graduate and the school's all-time scoring leader, probably would make room for the Sea Gulls.
Loyola played Salisbury from 1986 through 1989, with Loyola winning each by at least nine goals.
Now that No. 5 Loyola has beaten C.W. Post and Michigan State, the Greyhounds finally will get a test today when they play at North Carolina.
"During the first two games, we found out what we can do well," said Cottle. "After North Carolina, we'll find out what we can't do well and then have some time to work on it."
Goers bouncing back
Towson State junior Mark Goers won seven of nine faceoffs last week and showed some of the promise that made him the game's best last season. Last summer, Goers had reconstructive knee surgery after getting hurt in an all-star game.
"He's about 70 percent, which is still better than a lot of people," Towson coach Carl Runk said. "But I've never seen a person work as hard as he has to return. He's putting in four, five and six hours a day in rehab, while still keeping his studies up. It's his decision on how much he will and can play."
Zaetz in position
When UMBC's women play host to Hofstra in today's season opener, senior midfielder Alison Zaetz could become second on the Retrievers' all-time goal scoring list.
Zaetz, who enters the season with 131 goals, needs just two to move behind Laura Robinson, a 1986 graduate. However, Zaetz will need a huge year to knock Robinson -- and her 192 goals -- out of the top spot.
Even for Zaetz, who was eighth in the nation with 48 goals last year, scoring 62 would be a difficult task, especially since UMBC coach Kathy Zerrlaut has upgraded her schedule to include powerhouses Maryland and Virginia.
Still, that should not keep her from moving up on the Retrievers' career points list. Now sixth with 152, Zaetz needs two to pass Jenny Held and move into fifth. Robinson also has a
commanding lead on this list with 248.