Selection process quirks give Villa Julie outside shot


Villa Julie didn't receive any votes in this week's USILA Division III poll, but it goes into Selection Sunday with more postseason hope than No. 3 Washington & Lee. Even though Western Maryland whipped them by 15 goals in their season opener, the Mustangs -- and not the Green Terror -- have an outside shot at getting in the NCAA tournament.

The 14-team field in Division III will consist of 10 conference champions and four at-large selections. Also-rans from those 10 conferences aren't considered, so Washington & Lee's title dream dissolved when it was upset by Old Dominion rival Hampden-Sydney.

Saturday's War on the Shore is the only battle left for Washington. The 12th-ranked Shoremen lost the Centennial Conference final to Gettysburg, so their season concludes against Salisbury State.

Villa Julie coach Skeet Chadwick doesn't like the new NCAA selection system, but he understands it's supposed to be for the good of Division III's little guys -- like his Mustangs.

The college on Greenspring Valley Road started men's lacrosse in 1995. The Mustangs posted their best record ever at 10-3, and while they were humbled by No. 16 Western Maryland, Villa Julie scared giant-killer Hampden-Sydney and humbled the two best teams in the Middle Atlantic Conference.

The NCAA's at-large selections most likely will be three-time champion Nazareth, Ithaca, Denison and Ohio Wesleyan, but at least the Mustangs are being considered.

In the late 1960s, Chadwick played for a Towson High dynasty that produced some of the best public school teams the state has ever seen. After his collegiate career, he worked 25 years in the corporate world, then decided to spend part of his semi-retirement at Villa Julie. His first team went 8-7 last year, and the Mustangs keep improving behind local talent.

Bob Rinehimer, who went to Hereford High and Essex Community College, collected 40 goals and 27 assists. Nick Brownlee (Archbishop Curley) scored 17 times and handled faceoffs, and Dan Velez (Fallston) and Greg Bardzik (Dulaney) combined for 50 goals. Pat Gill (Gilman) played in the goal, and got help from defenseman Dan Giordano (C. Milton Wright) and long-stick middie John Doby (Loyola).

Villa Julie finished with a 16-6 win over Messiah on April 21, but Chadwick has conducted a few wishful-thinking practices.

"We need more quality wins to be considered for the NCAAs, but we're proud of what we accomplished this season," said Chadwick, whose alma mater, Washington & Lee, has been the biggest victim in the new selection process.

"I have mixed emotions about all this. I think the structure needs to be seriously rethought. A balance has to be struck. I understand the need for automatic qualifiers, but not at the expense of the 10 or 12 best teams."

The fallout from the Division III selection process could spur a conference like the Centennial to decline an automatic bid, so that runners-up like Washington and Western Maryland would get at-large consideration. That's what the Empire 8, the conference that includes Nazareth and Ithaca, did.

Straighter shooter

Loyola goes to Johns Hopkins on Saturday off a perfect 5-0 April. Had Bobby Horsey not improved his shooting, the month would not have gone that well.

The senior midfielder from West Chester, Pa., connected on just seven of his first 61 shots (11.5 percent), and his woes were linked to the Greyhounds' drop in offensive production.

Horsey and Loyola have been on a roll, however, since he forced overtime with 27 seconds left against Syracuse on April 7. That goal, on a hard bouncer from out top, began a stretch in which Horsey made 15 of his 21 shots, 71.4 percent.

Player of the Week

Adam Borcz, Navy. The do-it-all midfielder from Calvert Hall had four goals in a 10-4 win over Army, as his Class of 2001 will leave Annapolis 4-0 in Star Games with the Black Knights. Borcz has 32 goals, and 95 goals for his career.

Game of the Week

No. 7 Loyola at No. 4 Johns Hopkins, Saturday, 1 p.m. The Blue Jays took the first 30 meetings in this Charles Street rivalry. The Greyhounds won in 1994 and 1998, and got their first victory at Homewood Field two years ago. Hopkins needs to win to get a first-round bye in the NCAA tournament. If Loyola wins, both could be playing on the first weekend.

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