Johns Hopkins wants to check another off the list.
When the Blue Jays play at Hofstra tonight, they will be looking for more than just a victory. Last year, Hopkins lost three of its final five regular-season games, including its first loss to the Flying Dutchmen.
The Blue Jays have avenged their regular-season loss to Maryland and have the same plan in mind against Towson State on Saturday.
"We have a debit to pay on Tuesday," Hopkins coach Tony Seaman said. "We know that the rest of the teams on our schedule will be needing a win over us to get into the tournament. We are all looking forward to that."
And Hofstra is one of those teams. After a 5-0 start, the Flying Dutchmen have dropped three of their past five, including two in a row, and find themselves battling for one of the last spots in the tournament.
Hofstra has only scored seven goals in its past two games and will be facing Hopkins goalkeeper Brian Carcaterra, who has a .680 save percentage over his past five games. However, the Flying Dutchmen are looking to regroup in Hempstead, N.Y., where they have won eight straight.
"The kids are resilient and are looking forward to playing," Hofstra coach John Danowski said. "They want all the challenges and want to play against the best. And right now, many believe Hopkins is the best."
Towson, Navy on brink
Towson State and Navy are in must-win situations, and their postseason fates could be determined this week.
The Tigers play Loyola tomorrow and Johns Hopkins on Saturday. The Midshipmen play host to Army on Friday.
If Navy loses, the Midshipmen would fail to post a winning record for the third straight year and fall out of consideration for the NCAA tournament. Since the tournament began 26 years ago, it has never been without Navy and North Carolina in the same year.
UMBC flexes muscle
Behind Johns Hopkins, the second-longest winning streak among state Division I teams belongs to UMBC. The Retrievers (8-2), who make their debut in The Sun poll, have won four straight and are off to their best start since 1992.
The biggest reason for the resurgence has been the attack duo of sophomore Chris Turner and freshman Dan Marohl, both former Sun Players of the Year. Turner and Marohl, who are averaging nearly five points a game, are the highest-scoring underclassmen in the nation.
And Turner isn't surprised by UMBC's success.
"I remember looking at our schedule at the beginning of the year," Turner said. "I really thought we could go 12-0. I knew we would have a good season. That's the benefit of not having a schedule as tough as last year."
Warming up after March
There's a good reason why no one wants to play Syracuse after March. In the 1990s, the Orangemen have a 43-1 record in April and are 7-0 in May regular-season games.
"The tradition has always been winners," Syracuse attackman Casey Powell said. "The guys on the team know what they're aiming for every year, and that's the trophy -- the national championship. They know if they're going to win it, they've got to step it up a notch."
Here comes Penn State
The latest team making a run for one of the last NCAA tournament bids is Penn State. The Nittany Lions (7-3), who have never made the tournament, have won five consecutive games, including three on the road.
"We have our work cut out for us," said coach Glenn Thiel, whose team has two games remaining. "We've got to beat Delaware and do a job against Duke. If we do that, we'll be in good shape. If not, we're probably on the edge."
In the Atlantic Coast Conference title game, Virginia attackman Michael Watson did not record a goal or an assist for what is believed to be the first time in his career. Watson has 125 goals and 93 assists in his career. Maryland junior defenseman Mike Bonanni, who broke his leg in the second week of March, played for the first time since then in the ACC semifinal game against Duke. Hartford goalkeeper Chris LaMonica has been penalized for slashing in each of his past three games. Colgate goalie Mike Fine, a Friends graduate, was named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week after posting a shutout over Holy Cross.
Pub Date: 4/22/97