Powerhouses Johns Hopkins and Syracuse justified their traditional hype yesterday in the first weekend of fall scrimmages.
The Lacrosse for Leukemia charity tournament at St. Paul's School also previewed strong Loyola and Duke teams apparently headed for another successful spring. And Virginia left with more questions than answers.
New coaches led the Blue Jays and Orangemen to 3-0 records in the round-robin tourney, and Loyola and Duke each won two.
At the other end, Towson and Cornell managed just one win apiece, and Virginia became the surprise of the tournament, going winless in three games.
Under coach John Desko, Syracuse thrived in yesterday's freestyle run-and-gun format, outscoring opponents 25-11. Hopkins had a tougher road to a perfect afternoon, coming back from three-goal deficits to beat both Duke and Virginia.
"We wanted to try to handle all situations that came up against an opponent that we haven't played against," Hopkins coach John Haus said. "The only thing I can really say is that we worked awfully hard today but we have a long way to go as a lacrosse team."
Virginia, which had three players out on the offensive end, struggled throughout the day. The Cavaliers dropped their opening game to Towson, 10-2, using their reserve players for most of the first half, and then got outhustled in the second half in losses to Loyola and Hopkins.
"For me, I'm thankful it's October," Virginia coach Dom Starsia said. "In April and May, you tend not to remember these things. I don't think we were tough enough. I don't think we responded to the intensity of the play."
Two of next season's more experienced teams, Loyola and Duke, relied more on their athleticism than overall skill.
The Greyhounds, who return five All-Americans on offense, had their best run in upending Virginia, 8-5, by scoring the final four goals of the game. The two victories double their fall win total from last year, when they went 1-7 but advanced to the Final Four in the spring.
"We don't prepare for the fall; it's just our philosophy," said Loyola coach Dave Cottle, one of the driving forces behind the charity tournament. "We use the fall to make us better for the spring. If you play bad teams, you never know if you're any good or not. When you play these kind of teams, you find out what you can do."
(Round-robin at St. Paul's)
Johns Hopkins 6, Duke 5
Towson 10, Virginia 2
Syracuse 9, Cornell 3
Loyola 8, Virginia 5
Syracuse 8, Duke 4
Johns Hopkins 12, Cornell 4
Cornell 9, Towson 3
Duke 6, Loyola 5
Johns Hopkins 8, Virginia 5
Syracuse 8, Towson 4
Loyola 8, Cornell 4
Duke 8, Cornell 5
Hobart Fall Shootout, 11 a.m.
Penn State tournament, noon
Rutgers Fall Classic, noon
Princeton Invitational, 10 a.m.
Syracuse Pumpkin Stickout, TBA
Pub Date: 10/11/98