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Loyola knows Irish no longer tourney token Notebook

Don't bother to remind Loyola coach Dave Cottle that Notre Dame no longer needs a token bid to reach the NCAA tournament.

He's well aware of it. The Irish now get there on their own merits. It wasn't long ago that the tournament, in an effort to spread the game, issued an automatic bid to the best team in the Midwest -- even though it wasn't one of the 12 best teams in the country.

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Cottle and Loyola will face the best team in Notre Dame history in an NCAA tournament opening-round game Sunday at Towson State. The Irish are 9-2 with a pair of one-goal losses, one of them to Loyola in mid-March.

LTC "On Sunday we'll find out how much we've improved," Cottle said. "Notre Dame's strength is simplicity and execution. They don't do a lot, but what they do is done well."

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First Terps-Hoyas match

In the second game of Sunday's doubleheader at Towson State, Maryland and Georgetown will meet for the first time in lacrosse -- except for the scrimmage in February won by the Terps, 8-7.

"From that scrimmage and knowing Coach [Dave] Urick for years, we're familiar with their style of play," Maryland coach Dick Edell said.

The fact Georgetown, which is in its first tournament, lost its last two regular-season games to Loyola and uninvited Lehigh doesn't necessarily work in Maryland's favor.

"Georgetown was tremendous in its win over Syracuse early in the season," Edell said. "We'll dwell on that more than the Lehigh game. I wish they had saved last weekend against Lehigh for this weekend against us."

Hopkins to scrimmage

For No. 4 seed Johns Hopkins, it is more beneficial than harmful to have a first-round bye.

But going 13 days without game action -- that's not beneficial. To compensate, coach Tony Seaman will stage a closed-to-the-public scrimmage tomorrow night.

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"We'll have refs and the scoreboard operating to make it look like a real game," Seaman said. "And hope nobody gets hurt."

Familiar territory

The women's Division I tournament field doesn't look any different to No. 1 Maryland than its regular-season schedule.

The two-time defending champs have played every team in the field, losing only to second-seeded Loyola. They went 8-1 against the tournament field, including two wins over Virginia.

"It helps, playing the tough teams," said Maryland coach Cindy Timchal. "I think the [tournament seeding] committee looks really strongly at whether you put your team on the line and Maryland is the only one that does that consistently."

This season, the Terrapins (18-1) played 13 games against ranked teams and finished their last six games 5-1 against teams ranked in the Top 10. One of those was a 12-11 victory at Penn State, the Terps' quarterfinal opponent.

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The only other team to play everyone in the field is third-seeded Virginia (14-4), which Maryland beat in last year's title game.

Jays make up ground

Johns Hopkins is back in the Division III women's tournament despite graduating three players -- Jenn Ward, Francine Brennan and Carlene Barents -- who combined for 179 points last year.

"We were a little concerned about our offense," said Hopkins coach Janine Tucker. "We needed to do something to make up for those points and I attribute it to the kids being very irritated that they weren't able to get to the NCAAs last year."

The Jays used seven players to eclipse the 179-point mark -- Neda Dawood (36 points), Mimi Sokolowski (35), Danielle Maschuci (34), Kate Heritage (24), Elizabeth Koza (20), Mary Ann McGuire (19) and Laurie Better (18).

Pub Date: 5/08/97


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