No teams feed off controlling faceoffs more than Loyola and Maryland. So when they meet at high noon tomorrow, the team quicker to the draw will most likely survive to advance to the national-championship game.
In the Greyhounds' school-record, 12-game winning streak, Jamie Hanford has won 169 of 242 faceoffs (.698). After a lackluster start against Georgetown last week, he took six of seven draws in the fourth quarter.
"Obviously, we're going to see something we haven't seen in a while in Booger," Maryland coach Dick Edell said, referring to Hanford by his nickname. "No one has found an answer for Jamie. It's one of the key areas we must address."
The Terrapins will counter with depth. Although Maryland primarily relies on Brian Haggerty, who has won 66 percent of his faceoffs in the playoffs (31 of 47), it will not hesitate to use Chris Nohe (.653).
In Maryland's 11-10 victory over Johns Hopkins on Saturday, the Terps chose to go back to Haggerty for the opening draw in overtime after Nohe had won the final two faceoffs in regulation. Haggerty grabbed the faceoff, which eventually led to the Terps' game-winner.
"What I think is special about Maryland on faceoffs is that there's two of them," Loyola coach Dave Cottle said. "They're going to be sending a two-headed monster at Jamie and he has his hands full. That's obvious."
Element of surprise
As the No. 2 Tigers and No. 3 Orangemen prepare for their semifinal matchup, neither team has announced who will be in the cage.
Princeton pulled its starter, Corey Popham, midway through the second quarter against Duke last Saturday. The Tigers inserted freshman Trevor Tierney, the son of Princeton coach Bill Tierney, who made six saves while allowing only one goal.
"We don't know right now," Bill Tierney said. "When we made the change with Corey, they were coming at us quickly and any change was necessary. We'll see how the week goes."
In the same fashion, Syracuse switched goalkeepers against Virginia, which sparked a second-half comeback. The Orangemen replaced struggling Jason Gebhardt early in the third quarter with athletic freshman Rob Mulligan, who stopped nine shots and gave up two goals in the final 27 1/2 minutes.
"We'll see how it goes, as well," Syracuse coach Roy Simmons said. "Even as a 19-year-old boy, Robby is compassionate with what Jason is going through. He came up to me after the last game and said, 'Coach, I understand if you start Jason and not me next week.' "
Maryland has committed only three penalties for a total of two minutes during the tournament. More surprisingly, none of the Terps' top 10 penalized players during the regular season has been flagged. Loyola is the only national semifinalist to have six XTC players with 20 or more goals and 30 or more points. Princeton (.789) and Syracuse (.714) rank 1-2 all-time in NCAA Division I tournament winning percentage. The Tigers and Orangemen have combined to win nine of the last 10 national championships.
Pub Date: 5/22/98