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UM, Loyola women's top seeds State teams get byes into lacrosse semifinals

Call it the Maryland state invitational.

For the first time in the history of the NCAA women's lacrosse Division I tournament, the top two seeds are from this state -- Maryland and Loyola. The top-seeded Terps (17-0) and No. 2 Greyhounds (14-1) will make up half of the national semifinals, receiving byes into the Final Four at Lehigh University on May 18.

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The Terps, who are attempting to become the first back-to-back national champions in Division I women's lacrosse, play the winner of Penn State (11-4) vs. Princeton (12-2). Loyola meets the winner of William & Mary (10-6) vs. Virginia (12-3).

Maryland, which has gone into the tournament as the top seed the past three years, has never enjoyed the layoff between games. That's why the Terps played their final regular-season game last Sunday, the day before tournament selections.

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"We would like to play our way through the tournament," Maryland coach Cindy Timchal said. "That's what we enjoy doing best. It's an honor being picked No. 1, but it's a challenge."

Loyola, which ended the regular season two weeks ago by playing three games in four days, looked forward to the break. For the first time since the preseason, the Greyhounds had a couple of days off and spent time in the weight room.

When the Greyhounds play in the national semifinals, it will have been 25 days since they played in a game.

"It's not a problem for us, and a lot of people look at it as a disadvantage," Loyola coach Diane Aikens said. "Now we have time to work on some things. We didn't have that time in our last two weeks of the regular season because we played too many games. We have a chance for some decent rest and just have to stay focused."

Maryland and Loyola are the heavy favorites to meet in the championship game.

The Terps have won 34 straight games and have beaten the rest of the tournament field by a combined score of 62-29. The Greyhounds have wins over three tournament teams and lost their only game this season by three goals to Maryland.

In Division III, Goucher (17-1) received its first tournament bid and plays host to Roanoke on Saturday in the first round. The Gophers, who broke last season's school record for wins, were not invited to the tournament last year.

"The team definitely felt jilted from last year," first-year Goucher coach Kathy Frick said. "The desire even seemed to double. And even though I felt pretty confident that we were in, the players were still questioning it after last Saturday's game."

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One of the mainstays of the Division III tournament, Johns Hopkins (14-5), did not make the eight-team field for the first time since 1992. The Blue Jays will move up to Division I in 1999.

Another no-show for the tournament is Williams College of Massachusetts. Williams (13-0), which is ranked No. 2 and is having its best season in six years, declined a bid because the national semifinals would conflict with final exams.

Under New England Small Colleges Athletic Conference rules, it is up to each school president to decide on such matters. However, the Williams College men's tennis team received permission to play in the NCAA tournament during the same period as the tests.

Tourney glance

What: Division I women's lacrosse tournament.

When: First round, Saturday; semifinals, May 18; final, May 19.

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Where: First-round games at school sites; semifinals and final at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa.

Local teams: No. 1 Maryland and No. 2 Loyola received byes into semifinals.

Schedule 7d

Women's tournaments

Division I

First round

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Saturday

Penn State (11-4) at Princeton (12-2), TBA

William and Mary (10-6) at Virginia (12-3), TBA

Final Four

At Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa.

May 18: Semifinals

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PS-Princeton winner vs. Maryland (17-0), 3 p.m.

W&M-Virginia; winner vs. Loyola (14-1), 5: 30 p.m.

May 19: Final

Semifinal winners, 3 p.m.

Division III

First round

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Saturday

Amherst at Trenton State, 1 p.m.

Ursinus at William Smith, 1 p.m.

Roanoke at Goucher, 1 p.m.

Middlebury at Connecticut College, 1 p.m.

Final Four

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At Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa.

May 18: Semifinals

TS-Amherst winner vs. Ursinus-WS winner, TBA

Roanoke-Goucher winner vs. Middlebury-Conn. Col. winner, TBA

May 19: Final

Semifinal winners, TBA

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Pub Date: 5/07/96


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