Danielle Maschuci was still steamed yesterday several minutes after she had gone out and collected a career-high nine points in a 22-8 romp by the fifth-seeded Johns Hopkins women's lacrosse team over 12th-seeded Denison University in a first-round NCAA Division III tournament game at Homewood Field.
The sophomore attacker and leading Hopkins scorer this season was not only angry over the failure of the 14-2 Blue Jays to receive one of the four first-round byes in the tournament but she was already psyching herself up for a possible semifinal meeting with top-seeded and unbeaten College of New Jersey May 16 at UMBC.
"We have Middlebury, Vt., [fourth-seeded] in the quarterfinals Sunday and after that we would meet New Jersey," Maschuci said. "That's what drives us. We wanted to make a statement to the tournament committee in this round and we did it. They believe the teams from the North are better than us, but we went 3-1 against Division I teams and our only loss in Division III was in overtime to New Jersey."
Maschuci and Hopkins made more than a statement out of the Denison (10-6) matchup.
The Blue Jays shattered school tournament records, ran the Big Red ragged on the way to a 20-4 lead before coach Janine Tucker began clearing her bench with more than 13 minutes left in the game, and virtually turned the game into not much more than a scrimmage.
It was not a good sight for NCAA Division III tourney officials.
Maschuci scored three goals and had six assists to account for her single-game career high of nine points and Neda Dawood poured in six goals to maintain her status as the second-leading scorer on the team.
Freshman Jessica Popham, a product of Severn School, and junior Nancy Kim, a former Bryn Mawr star, each had four goals and one assist in the romp.
Dawood said the snub by the committee has taken the Blue Jays through three stages of emotions.
"First we were upset, then angry and now we're hungry to beat anybody we play in this tournament," Dawood said. "We've said all along we want to finish our Division III play [Hopkins moves up to Division I next season] with a national championship."
Tucker said, "There's no doubt we're driven by the lack of a bye. But I don't want my players looking ahead to New Jersey. I want them to think about Middlebury. We played well today and it was a great chance to use 22 of 23 players on the team."
Denison assistant coach Sarah Hogan, who ran the team yesterday while head coach Alix Rorke was sick and remained back in Ohio, said, "I think Hopkins is definitely ready for Division I. We tried to spread it out and slow it down but they were too strong for us to do that. They beat us in the eight-meter zone all the time for goals."
Pub Date: 5/07/98